Tuesday,18 September, 2018
Current issue | Issue 1409, (13-19 September 2018)
Tuesday,18 September, 2018
Issue 1409, (13-19 September 2018)

Ahram Weekly

Folk dance and caravans

Folk dance and caravans
Folk dance and caravans

Among the acquisitions on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art are works by the legendary artist Ragheb Ayyad (1892-1982).

The way in which this leading artist documented popular Egyptian life and traditions in the early 20th century will continue to present a unique body of work. Ayyad’s paintings vividly reflect the folk environment using an artistic approach based on simplicity and abstraction.

Identity, expressed through both place and time, was always present in his work. His works also resembles ancient Egyptian art in that it documents aspects of daily life. It can be seen as a reading of Egyptian heritage with a modern creative vision.

This was confirmed by critic Iman Mahran in her most recent book, Popular Life in the Works of Ragheb Ayyad, through which she reread the works of the leading artist who founded his own unique school as he pioneered documenting rural Egypt in the 20th century: wedding, exorcism, saints’ anniversaries and processions of all kinds. His work features dancing horses, camel caravans and a wealth of heritage.

As Mahran points out, the work is doubly powerful in that it reliably serves a documentary function as well as standing apart as art.  

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