Friday,21 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1361, (21 - 27 September 2017)
Friday,21 September, 2018
Issue 1361, (21 - 27 September 2017)

Ahram Weekly

masterpieces by Mounir Canaan

Mounir Canaan Al Hawanem
Mounir Canaan Al Hawanem

Among the acquisitions of the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art currently on show are masterpieces by Mounir Canaan (1919-1999), a powerful artist whose body of work and style were always ahead of their time and later appeared on the international art scene.

In 1942, he started by practicing portraits and scenes from daily life. The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art bought one of his aquarelle paintings Kahwet Baladi (or Coffee of My Country) in 1944. In 1945, he joined the Akhbar El Youm press institution as an artist; he is responsible for producing several magazines.

Canaan renders any material capable of expressing all that is purely human. He moves from dimensionality to perspective, from illusionary materialisation to surface texturing, using all sorts of materials. The style on which he finally settled surpasses all academic norms, attaining so-called “academic realism”. Canaan produced hundreds of works demonstrating breathtaking talent, rich in diversity and contrast and capable of reformulating surface aesthetics. After becoming acquainted with American abstract expressionism in 1946, he later delved deeper into abstraction that resulted in the cut and paste (collage) phase of his career starting in 1953. In 1984, he won the first prize in the first Arab international biennale.

Canaan gave exhibitions in Latin America, Paris, Spain and Rome. He also participated in the Venice International Biennale.

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