Across the breadth of this retrospective collection, we see paintings of natural beauty, from Nilotic vistas and agricultural scenes, to works that highlight daily life in the streets of bustling Cairo and Egypt’s rural communities.
The Modernists: A Retrospective
September 20 - October 12, 2022
We are delighted to be showcasing for our season opener a special pioneer retrospective from September 20 to October 12, the likes of which cannot be experienced anywhere else. This unique exhibition features exquisite works from Egypt's golden era Modernists across a varied selection of mediums, including; watercolor, oil, ink, acrylic, pastel and sculpture. Modern art refers to the period of art extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s and encompasses a variety of divergent styles. Despite this, the underpinning principle of this period was a rejection of historical and academic norms in favor of a streak of experimental innovation that explored new ways of seeing and interpreting the world around us through art.
Our Modernist Retrospective includes previously un-exhibited works alongside some of our private collection gems from; Ragheb Ayad (1892-1982), Salah Abdel Kerim (1925-1987), Youssef Sida (1922-1994), El Hussein Fawzi (1899-1968), Inji Efflatoun (1924-1989), Kamal Khalifa (1936-1978), Hidayet Chiraz (unknown-1965), Mohamed Ismail (1936-1993), Zohra Efflatoun (1936-1978), Shaaban Zaki (1926-1968), Ibrahim Abd Elmalak (1944-2011), Salah Taher (1911-2007) and Kawkab Youssef (1909-2009).
Each of these artists' works represent a chronicling of Egyptian life in some form or another, with each standing testament to the timeless power of art and its role in preserving a historical and cultural record of Egypt's rich multi-civilizational heritage. Across the breadth of this retrospective collection, we see paintings of natural beauty, from Nilotic vistas and agricultural scenes, to works that highlight daily life in the streets of bustling Cairo and Egypt’s rural communities. A multitude of prototypical Egyptian characters including merchants, vendors, and families as well as the animals that have been an integral part of Egyptian life since time immemorial, such as the camel, donkey and ox.
In the spirit of Modernism, this collection also features an entirely different brand of Egyptian art that is not distinctly Egyptian in its nature, demonstrating the spirit of experimentation in various forms and styles from names like Halim, Khalifa, Ismail and Izzet. These diverse abstract works speak in their own mysterious yet captivating language and offer a welcome balance to the more classical works from artists immersed in the European tradition, yet without forgoing their own tangible Egyptian essence. For connoisseurs and casuals alike, this collection celebrates a brilliant crop of legendary Modernists through the eyes of Safarkhan in a way that acknowledges their indispensable role in the evolution of Egypt’s artistic tradition.