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‘Colour Vision Angles’ Exhibition at Picasso Art Gallery

Picasso Art Gallery: ‘Colour Vision Angles’ by Attyat Saed

reviewed by
Ahmed El Dahan
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Picasso Art Gallery: ‘Colour Vision Angles’ by Attyat Saed

Born in Cairo in 1935, Attyat Saed came to prominence as an artist after studying at the institute of Art Education when she graduated in 1958. Prior to dedicating her life to the arts, Saed was an illustrator at Al Gomhoria and Al Masaa newspapers at the grand age of 65.

Before she turned professional, so to speak, in 1995, she had already held various exhibitions of her press work in the 70s and 80s. Since her retirement from the media, she has compiled various solo exhibitions throughout galleries in Egypt.

In her latest collection at Zamalek’s Picasso Art Gallery, ‘Colour Vision Angles’, Saed presents a vast and varied collection of pieces in mixed media, unifying a variety of objects and characters under one exhibition. Avoiding a recurring theme or motif, Saed uses inanimate objects such as chairs, sewing machines and teapots on the canvas, along with schools of fish and people.

Her style possesses a vintage vibe, rife with aggressive, yet controlled brushwork, combined with subtle pastel shadings to add depth and texture; her technical flair is enhanced by an unrestricted and adventurous colour scheme. Stemming from her long time spent in the press industry, Saed also has a distinct mastery of line manipulation.

It is not uncommon to see many of her paintings teeming with anxiety and tension. Her work is emotionally complex, even feeling haunting at times. Through her skilful execution, she infuses inanimate objects with personality.

For instance, in one painting from the sewing machine series, Saed has portrayed the machine in such a way that it seems boisterous and aggressive. The same can be said of the chairs she has chosen to personify with exaggerated curves and contortions in their frames.  

In painting portraits, Saed has a taste for applying a rough and grainy texture, whilst putting many of her subjects alone in desolate and plain environments. In one piece titled ‘Sitting’, a young voluptuous woman is conjured using black and white paint, blended together to give subtle shades of varying degrees of grey. Though the woman rests in a cross legged position, a variety of bold strokes around her legs are indicative of motion. The emotional content of the painting suggests a time of youthful attraction, albeit tinged with a sense of unrest.

Colour Vision Angles showcases Saed’s artistic variety, providing an opportunity to appreciate her intense style. It’s a rarity to see an exhibition with such innate sense of expression.

360 Tip

The exhibition will continue showing until April 6th.

Best Bit

Attyat Saed has one of the most unique styles on Cairo's art scene.

Worst Bit

Some of her pieces appear jumbled and are hard to decipher.

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