Mariam Hamdy

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Latest by Mariam Hamdy


A disappointing showcase of Egyptian caricature at Sawy

Currently showing at Sawy Culture Wheel’s Word Hall is a new exhibit titled “Humorous Talking: Caricature, a collective show of the works of four caricaturists: Amr Selim, Makhlouf Abdallah, Doaa El Adl and Mostafa Salem. Despite Sawy Culture Wheel being an adequate setting for young performers to showcase their works, as well as an alternative …

Mariam Hamdy

30 degrees of separation between Oslo and Cairo

The seemingly unobvious similarities between two dissimilar cultures, is the theme of “30 Degrees, a new exhibition currently held at the Gezira Art Center in Zamalek. The show consists of sets of photographs, essentially portraying a comparative dialogue between two artists: photographer and founder of Artellewa Hamdy Reda and visual artist and curator Pekka Persson. …

Mariam Hamdy

Egypt's 'Potterist' unleashes sublime creations

It’s somewhat difficult to believe that an exhibition of clay pots could be such an altering experience. Pottery, despite being an age-old medium and respected art form, is sometimes regarded as limiting when it comes to the actual execution. The current show held at Al-Masar gallery proves this assumption to be completely unfounded. The exhibition, …

Mariam Hamdy

Lost in an open 'Transit'

Townhouse Gallery is hosting “Transit 1, the first of a series of exhibitions that pair Neopolitan artists with their counterparts in the Middle East and the Mediterranean, allowing each one to express their impressions of the other’s homeland. “Transit 1 is a group show featuring artists Sherif El-Azma, Nermine El-Ansari and Domenico Antonio Mancini. El-Azma …

Mariam Hamdy

Homage to the least known famous artist

Twelve international artists have been invited to re-interpret the work of Allan Kaprow at the Cairo Image Collective this month. Titled “A fantasy for Allan Kaprow, the show pays homage to the least known of the famous artists of our time. Allan Kaprow (1927-2006) is an American painter and a pioneer of performance art. Better …

Mariam Hamdy

Those tense Egyptians and their fascinating universe

Townhouse Gallery is currently hosting the latest exhibition by celebrated artist Sabah Naim. An Egyptian artist of international acclaim, Naim’s work has been exhibited at prestigious venues all over the globe, from the Smottamenti at the 50th Venice Biennale, to London’s Hayward gallery, Paris’ Center Georges Pompidou and Tokyo’s Mori Art museum. Naim’s body of …

Mariam Hamdy

Fadia Badrawi's world of colors

The Gezira Art Center is currently hosting “Transitions, a new exhibit by Fadia Dereen Badrawi. An Egyptian born and raised in the United States, Badrawi’s work is an interesting blend of traditional and abstract subject matter, distinguished for its competent use of color. The show consists of various painting styles and approaches, reflecting the artist’s …

Mariam Hamdy

Mexican heritage on display in prints exhibition

A collection of 66 images by 17 Hispanic-American artists taken between 1972 and 2004 have reached Cairo, its first stop in the Middle East. The exhibition, titled “Contemporary Mexican Prints: From the Kyron Archives 1972-2004, currently on display at the Cairo Opera House’s art gallery, has already traveled under the auspices of the Mexican Foreign …

Mariam Hamdy

A history captured in smiles

German Culture Center Goethe Institute is currently hosting an exhibition of a refreshingly simple collection of studio portraits charting renowned German photographer Charlotte Mathesie’s lifelong career via her work. Charlotte Mathesie opened her photography atelier in Berlin in 1945. Determined to follow in her father’s footsteps, Mathesie became the youngest professional photographer at the age …

Mariam Hamdy

Hidden horror of Cairo's monstrous buildings

There are endless commentaries on the increasingly chaotic urban landscape that is Cairo. Mostly negative, the comments tend to focus on the disastrous consequences of the monstrous multiplication of buildings, incoherence of architecture and the crowded contents of these structures. Yet not many have attempted to make sense of this chaos and find some kind …

Mariam Hamdy

Quiet sadism sweeps old Cairo

Darb 1718 is the newest non-profit arts center in Cairo. Located in El Fustat, the center strikes an interesting balance between its surroundings of the millennium-old mosques and churches and the collection of contemporary art houses. Founded by renowned Egyptian contemporary artist Moataz Nasr, the center opened with “Crossings, a collective exhibition that hosted¬¬¬¬ an …

Mariam Hamdy

Shoe frenzy takes over Egyptian art in new exhibition

In the current global shoe-throwing frenzy ushered by Muntazar Al-Zaidi, an art exhibition that poses its central subject matter and title as “Shoes is, most definitely, an event that demands attention by the mere merit of its title. Held at Ibdaa Gallery in Mohandiseen, the show hosts works, of variable quality, from a number of …

Mariam Hamdy

The year in visual arts

The visual arts scene in Egypt in 2008 has witnessed a substantial vibrant mixture of productions. Fortunately, the good exhibitions have been more so than the bad. The awful productions – and there have been quite a few – have been peppered with the genuine efforts exerted by both artists and curators in creating enjoyable …

Mariam Hamdy

Art space flourishes in slumping economy

While it’s not unusual to hear that there aren’t enough art galleries in Cairo, a lack of purpose can turn an initially good project into a mediocre affair – as is the case with a few galleries currently operating in this city. Founders who have learned from these sizable failures are the current owners and …

Mariam Hamdy

Abla's Cairo Labyrinth as seen from afar

I have discovered a rewarding way of looking at paintings by veteran artist Mohamed Abla, whose latest exhibition is currently being held at the Zamalek Art Gallery: Stand a meter away from them. You could lean forward to peer at their details, but a step towards them will get you lost in their chaos, and …

Mariam Hamdy

A man, a woman and a pantomimist

Cairo Atelier, one of the older exhibition spaces tucked away on a side-street in the middle of downtown’s assortment of galleries, is currently holding a potentially perfect show titled “Sending the Clowns . out by Sarah Khalil. Unfortunately, it has almost become a custom for a perfect concept to fall flat through a not so …

Mariam Hamdy

The breathing sculptures of Armen Agop

I magine yourself walking into an aquarium after announcing that a new species has been discovered. Consider for a moment the apprehension, hesitation and awe one senses on witnessing these new creatures for the first time, with all its beautiful and bizarre traits. This is exactly how I felt upon entering the Zamalek Art Gallery …

Mariam Hamdy

Violence, torture and 'Man's Inhumanity' on display

The current highlight of Goethe Institute’s 50th anniversary celebrations is the anticipated exhibition by German artist Günther Uecker at the Townhouse Gallery. Uecker’s internationally acclaimed body of work ranges from optical art, to sculpture to installation. Born in Mecklenburg, in the eastern German Democratic Republic in 1930, Uecker moved to the west in 1953 to …

Mariam Hamdy

The mysterious realms of 'Nether Matrix'

The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia has repeatedly proven to be one of the most reliable art venues in Egypt in pulling a conceptually sound show. During Ramadan, Pro Helvetia is hosting “Nether Matrix, a joint exhibition between Swiss artist Gaspare Otto Melcher and Egyptian artist Amr Fekry, which tackles the concept of sacred geometry. …

Mariam Hamdy

The fantastic creatures of Francisco Toledo

The Mahmoud Mokhtar Culture Center is currently hosting a collection titled “Zoología Fantástica that strike a perfect balance between being thought-provoking and entertaining. Judging by the last few exhibits, finding an art show that satisfies both artistic ends has become increasingly rare. Recent works that have succeeded in enticing a pensive conversation were quite grave, …

Mariam Hamdy

Beginner's luck eludes 'Oum El Dounia'

Art critics often find it difficult to strike a balance between polite assessment and blatant honesty. It’s even trickier when the artist in question is an amateur: Does one take the supportive approach and laud the sheer effort, or the brutally honest approach that doesn’t discriminate between amateurs and veterans? A perfect example of such …

Mariam Hamdy

'Contemporaries Views' from Egypt's finest artists

Featuring some of the best works showcased in Cairo in months, Masar’s current show “Contemporary Views created a niche for itself and the gallery hosting it among the repetitive theme of collective exhibitions. Following the lukewarm end of this summer’s art season, I couldn’t have been less excited about attending yet another collective art show. …

Mariam Hamdy

An overblown party with distant shades of art

Heading to Townhouse Gallery’s “Sawa annual party and summer exhibition last Sunday, I found myself trekking down Champilion Street behind a large group of people heading towards the inescapably loud music at its end. At first glance, the mere sight of the overcrowded gallery is instantly delightful. After all, it’s quite rare to witness a …

Mariam Hamdy

Bad display choices mar Safar Khan's summer collection

Zamalek is known for its elite collection of art galleries, compared to the rather contemporary galleries such as Townhouse and Artellewa that are more concerned with sales. These galleries include Safar Khan, Zamalek Art Gallery, Extra and Picasso, all of whom employ the summer season as their peak time for art sales. Archives are sifted …

Mariam Hamdy

Group talent at the Alexandria Library

An artist’s debut show is a haunting ordeal. Both the artist and the artwork become vulnerable to the blind admiration of friends and the ruthless criticism of strangers. A debut is always an exciting and unpredictable affair, subjected to an equal possibility of success and failure. But a group debut is even more so, housing …

Mariam Hamdy

Early works of Egyptian masters uncovered in new exhibition

The Zamalek Art Gallery is hosting its “Masterpieces exhibition this week. The title is certainly an understatement: The artwork on display is a rare collection of paintings, some of which have never been exhibited before. The exhibition boasts the works of Egypt’s greatest painters, including Hamed Owaiss, Zeinab El Sageny, Abdel Rahman El Nachar, Gazbia …

Mariam Hamdy

Surrealism undermined by "Breaking Boredom"

Six of the best illustrators and graphic designers in Cairo are holding a group exhibition called “Breaking Boredom at the Townhouse Gallery. Featuring George Azmy, Mahmoud Hamdy, Ibrahim Eslam, Hani Mahfouz, Mofa and Engy Aly, the show seemingly has the perfect ingredients of an explosive display of surrealism manifested in graphic design and illustration. The …

Mariam Hamdy

The many talents of George Azmy

If one is to analyze some of the most influential artworks of all time, it s easy to see that a large chunk of them employ a measure of humor. Some of the most profound pieces of art – be it on film, canvas or literature – are made by artists who had an abundance …

Mariam Hamdy

Arab reality meets abandoned childhood memories in new Townhouse shows

Townhouse Gallery is currently hosting two shows dealing with the personal and the global, highlighting Cairo’s ability to maintain a distinct culture despite its consistent dilution into the international mainstream. The first is an installation by Ayman Ramadan entitled “Hekaya (Story) and the other is photography exhibition by Adham Bakry called “Mat El Kalam (Words …

Mariam Hamdy

Global pop culture meets Turkish heritage in cartoons

One of the most underrated art spaces in Cairo is El Hanager Arts Center at the Cairo Opera House. Not only does it enjoy a fantastic location that’s both central to the capital’s art scene and easily accessible with abundant parking space – a rarity that needs to be pointed out – but the large …

Mariam Hamdy