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Hamed Nada Art Work
HAMED NADA: (1924-1990). Nada was born in the district of the citadel which is supposed to be the oldest popular area of Cairo. In this district Nada the boy was confronted with those people believing in magic and the supernatural powers living their day dreaming of the next without moving or attempting to confront what they have. Hamed Nada’s paintings are essentially autobiographical.

These images he depicted in his paintings originated in the atmosphere of the communal home where he was born. They evoke his neighborhood and its traditions with folkloric details as the water pipe or mischievous jinn. At the same time his paintings are allegorical. They tell stories inspired by the storyteller.

During his first period Nada’s approach to art was marked by his association with the Egyptian literary society and their paper ‘El-Sakafa’. He also was influenced by his introduction in this period to Youssef Amin’s group of Contemporary Art and by his school friend Abdel Hadi El Gazzar. In his early drawings Nada’s social realist themes are conveyed with a sensitive metaphorical use of space. His work was shown among other Egyptian artists in Paris in 1954. Jean La Couture received his work by saying ‘his figures are encircled in a closed heavy universe symbolized by a concentric design’. From daily life he extracts symbols like the chair, the lamps, the cat and the coque which are destined to make palpable “that other thing” not experienced by the character but apprehended by the painter.

The extraordinary quality of Nada’s paintings allied with the research in his composition give his work a weight and an assurance which surprisingly came from artist who is only 28 years old. In his later period Hamed Nada by systematically abolishing the third dimension distorts his figures according to the expressive needs of each element as they contrast on the flat surface of his canvas. He transposes his plastic language from the visual perception associated with the literate to an abstracted vision closer to the proliferate. In 1960 he left for Spain to study for a diploma in mural painting at the Academy of San Ferdinand. Upon his return to Cairo in 1962 he was appointed professor in the painting department at the Faculty of Fine Arts. He became the head of the department in 1977. At retirement age in 1984 he worked part-time as professor of mural painting. Hamed Nada regularly contributed to group exhibitions, winning the Grand Prize at the Alexandria Biennial in 1956 and 1962.

Hamed Nada had his first studio at the Massaferkhana in Gamalia. After the tragic accident of the burning of this old palace he moved to Wekalat El Ghoury. When in the beginning of May 1990 all of Egypt went into black because of a shortage in the power of the High Dam. Hamed Nada was going down on the stairs of Wekalat El Ghoury when he fell down and hit his head and was immediately hospitalized. “Le Moude” (the famous French newspaper) wrote that day when he died that “Egypt went into black and lost one of her most powerful and bright artists Hamed Nada”. 
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