Friday,26 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1406, (16 - 29 August 2018)
Friday,26 April, 2019
Issue 1406, (16 - 29 August 2018)

Ahram Weekly

A revolutionary artist

Inji Efflatoun
Inji Efflatoun masterpiece

Among the acquisitions on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art are masterpieces by Inji Efflatoun (1924-1989), a leading light in the Marxist, progressive-nationalist, feminist movement through the 1940s and 1950s as well as an artist of vision and distinction whose contribution was a genuine addition to the development of modern Egyptian painting and a serious attempt to free it from dependence on the West by highlighting values derived from the Egyptian environment.          

Efflatoun’s paintings are inspired by social reality and the Egyptian working class with a special focus on women and their daily struggle. During her imprisonment, she portrayed the difficult reality of prison life, women behind bars. By the end of her term, she was painting subjects that symbolised freedom, such as trees and sailboats. After she was released in 1963, her style became lighter and more joyful, using vibrant colours to depict the countryside and daily life of Egyptian workers. These works are characterised by the rhythm of textured brushstrokes playing with the blanks of the canvas to express light. In her late career, in the 1980’s, her patterned textured strokes became purer, progressively showing more blanks on the canvas.

Some of Efflatoun’s works are in her permanent collection at the Amir Taz Palace in Medieval Cairo and a collection of her personal items are displayed at the Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha.


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