Salah Abdel Kerim Egyptian, 1925-1988

Owing to his incomparable multifaceted body of work, Safarkhan considers him Egypt’s most versatile Modern artist.

Internationally renowned painter, sculptor and multiplatform artist, Salah Abdel Kerim has had countless awards bestowed on him. Among them, an honorary mention for his magisterial Cry of the Beast sculpture in the 1963 Biennale Sao Paulo. He also remains the only Arab artist to appear alongside Picasso in famed publisher Larousse’s seminal Art and Man encyclopedia. This supreme repertoire of innovation, spanning an almost Da Vinci-like breadth of composition mediums seldom seen, decidedly places him in a class of his own and amongst the most influential and remarkable talents of his generation and thereafter. 


Owing to his incomparable multifaceted body of work, Safarkhan considers him Egypt’s most versatile artist. It was not long before various governments, institutions and businesses commissioned him to conceive and create the frescoes, murals and logos that would adorn their walls and bring their visions to life. These public works are part of his diverse oeuvre which also included wood and metal sculpture, oil and watercolor painting, theatre set and costume design, and a breadth of stunning ink and pencil drawings.  


Abdel Kerim is celebrated for his adept ability to translate and convey stories into the most inventive and expressive illustrative form. Also for his truly exceptional artistic method, predicated on a refined simplicity, originality of composition and multi-dimensional precision that in many instances married engineering precision with aesthetic elements.


Abdel Kerim’s exquisite breadth of artistic exploits also marries the refined elegance of the classical European schools he was steeped in, with the indelible and timeless creative stimulus emanating from the art of the Pharaohs that was the lifeblood of the Egypt he knew and loved. Abdel Kerim would tragically become the victim of his own genius, succumbing to blindness towards the end of his career resulting from his painstaking creative output involving his astounding portfolio of masterpiece sculptures fashioned from old automobile parts and scrap metal.