Monday,16 July, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1305, (28 July - 3 August 2016)
Monday,16 July, 2018
Issue 1305, (28 July - 3 August 2016)

Ahram Weekly


To commemorate the birth anniversary of artist Samir Rafi (1926-2004), Picasso gallery in Zamalek showcases a number of his masterpieces that are introduced to the audience for the first time. 

Rafi represents contemporary Egyptian art interacting with modern art trends ranging from expressionism to symbolism and surrealism. The exceptionally gifted artist expresses a mixture of Egyptian reality, myth and folklore in a contemporary idiom.

One particularly interesting piece is a large painting in blue tones portraying a human figure almost wrapped around an animal of some sort. The detail is limited with strong abstract forms but there is a clear affection shown between the two characters within the painting, in fact their embrace is so tight it’s almost as though they are one.

Rafi belongs to the second generation of the fine art movement in the Arab world; he gained international acclaim after living in Paris for half a century. Among the artists he encountered in Paris was the godfather of cubism Pablo Picasso. In the 1930s, his paintings brilliantly depicted the themes of the dream and alienation. Throughout his career, Rafi delved deep into the essence of forms and persons overlooking the outside appearance and led solely by his wild imagination, which made him among the first Egyptian artists to focus on the symbol.  

Numerous works by the artist have been sold at auctions, including ‘(i-iv, vi) Untitled’ sold at Dubai Christie’s Modern and Contemporary Art in 2016 for $62,500.


The exhibition runs through 3 August

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