Nile Art Gallery: Summer Exhibition
14 El Montazah St.
The month of August sees most Cairo galleries host their annual summer exhibitions, often bringing together the best of the year’s previous exhibitions. Zamalek’s often forgotten Nile Art Gallery is doing exactly that with a dazzling collection of paintings, drawings and prints. The gallery itself is beautifully set-out. with clean, laminate flooring and excellent lighting throughout.
The first painting we were drawn to was by Syrian artist, Suheil Baddour; a gigantesque portrayal of two women playing a flute-like wind instrument. Baddour has had thirty-five solo exhibitions around the world in countries like Spain, France and USA and the piece is taken from his exhibition at Nile Art gallery earlier this year, ‘The Silence of the Music’.The colours are vivid and the shapes bold, though the two figures lack detail showing his interests lie in the human form, shape and the effect of colour
Adjacent to this painting is a mixed-media creation by Nadia Wahden depicting the profile of a woman against a background of leaves and plants. The artist even uses a white cotton to create the tiny plants and flowers in her hair, elaborating on the softness and delicate essence of the woman. The soft turquoise and sugar pink colours dictate the overall tranquil and empirically feminine mood; it’s a delicate, soft and beautiful.
Another artist who focuses on the female form is Salah El Meligy, who has several paintings displayed. One depicts a woman with birds almost forming a crown around her head; yet with the form of the woman, the scene gives a sense of freedom. El Meligy, born and raised in Suez, is said to be inspired by the many seagulls and birds in the area. The colours are soft, as are the lines used to create the female form.
The largest and perhaps most eye-catching painting in the gallery is by Samer Hussein; showing a girl lying on her back, the hair, face and shoulders are detailed, yet the lower body is merely a white outline similar, dare we say, to a chalk outline at a crime scene. It represents something missing; something taken away or fading, perhaps. The colours used by Hussein are quite light, except for the female’s dark brown hair and the red material she is laying on. This strong contrast in colours creates a balanced effect for the overall composition.
The prints by Marwa were also quite extraordinary, with immense photographic details; the monotonic colours create an almost ghostly feel particularly. The frames around them add a personal and almost homely feel.
As a whole, this is a delightful exhibition and one that features one of the most eclectic collections among the several summer exhibitions across Cairo.