Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1362, (28 September - 4 October 2017)
Wednesday,20 February, 2019
Issue 1362, (28 September - 4 October 2017)

Ahram Weekly

The Egyptian Stick Fighting sculpture

The Egyptian Stick Fighting sculpture
The Egyptian Stick Fighting sculpture

An honourary retrospective of works by Kamal Ebeid (1918-2000) is on show at the Zamalek Art Gallery’s Venue I.

Ebeed is a diverse artist with a comprehensive body of work; from sculpture and painting, to ceramics as well as pencil and ink drawings. He is an artist of balance and composure, a teacher whose work professes love for his craft.

A consummate professor, Ebeid proved to be an inspiration to student artists he taught and who grew to be become masters in their own right. His approach to teaching – structured, patient and detailed – echoes his artistic style, which produces academic works true to their essence.

Ebeid’s glorious bronze sculptures, varying in size from a life-sized rabbit or cat head to a majestic larger than life lion head are on show . His animal busts compete with his human portraits in their closeness to reality, and his sculptures as a whole all exude a sense of magnificence and dignity.

His paintings, subdued in both content and palette, are in stark contrast to his ceramics, which are brightly ornamented. Equally precise in his academic approach, his ink and pencil drawings are compositionally and conceptually his most intriguing works, with ancient and modern history colliding neatly in them, in a precise mathematical manner.

Among Ebeid’s most significant works is The Egyptian Stick Fighting sculpture, which embodies the majesty of the stick fighting tradition in Egypt. Ebeid’s mastery can be seen in how much he shows the diligent conflict and animated movements of the contestants, without losing sight of the viewer’s gaze. The magnificence of his figures, and the vitality of the confrontation between them, can be seen in his vital yet fervent style.

In addition to The Lion's Head, there is a detailed part of a larger than life sculpture which was once part of the field statue of a woman surrounded by three lions and representing Egypt. The Nile (1954), too – in which Ebeid personifies the river as as a man of typical Egyptian features handing the country gifts with his own hands: plants, fish and birds; he is surrounded by smaller female figures representing the Nile’s tributaries.

The exhibition is on until 11 October


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