The Art Lounge: ‘Fifth Generation’ Group Exhibition
With a rich history spanning hundreds of years, arts and culture in Cairo is, in no uncertain terms, a vibrant one. Running alongside ‘The Mirage II’ at Al Masar Gallery, the Art Lounge is currently hosting a group exhibition titled ‘Fifth Generation’. In celebration of some of the galleries previously featured artists, a selection of work from Hamdi Attia, Ibrahim El Dessouki, Essam Darwich, Sami Aboul Azm and Kareem Al Qurity are on show.
Each of the artists are linked together by their generation; all part of the fifth generation of the Egyptian art movement, they each embarked on their careers onwards from the 80’s. Despite being from the same school of thought, the artist’s own inspirations and motivations means that the pieces are all very different from one another, contrasting in both colour and technique. Along with a collection of paintings, there are also a number of sculptures on display.
Ibrahim El Dessouki presents two, life size, female portraits; ‘Contemplating’ and ‘Light Blue I’. The first is of a vulumptious woman, standing in a long white gown, with her arms above her head. The latter is aptly named, with the model posing in a similar fashion, but in a light blue dress. The paint strokes used in both pieces appear similar to scratches, however, the skin of the women somehow appears flawless.
Kareem al Qurity showcases a set of three paintings, each in the same style. ‘The Samaritans I’ and ‘Samaritans II’ are mixed media pieces, showing groups of bronze, faceless people – similar to statues – huddled together on a textured background. ‘The Chair Preaches II’ shows these same figures, grouped around a large chair, as if awaiting orders.
While Sami Aboul Azm’s pieces ‘Dawn’s Light of Hope’ and ‘Unveiled Ship’ use dark colours with a slight sense of despair, Hamdi Attia’s works are more colourful. Alongside his portrayal of William Penn’s sculpture, ‘Split Button’, a set of four panels show abstract heads, barely distinguishable from the paint techniques and their backgrounds. Their titles are present as words on the pieces themselves, suggesting their natures; ‘Likability’, ‘Stylish’, ‘Looking Good’ and ‘Intellectual’.
The modest collection of bronze statues includes five beautifully carved pieces from the internationally renowned Essam Darwich. ‘The Cat’ is one of the more contemporary pieces; it’s smooth and rounded to suggest the shape of a sleeping feline, whereas the most intricate is the ‘Legend of the North’, showing musician, Sayed Darwich, clutching an oud, with detailed facial features.
The Fifth Generation is a small but varied group exhibition, revisiting a collection of works from previously exhibited, well-established artists.