Thursday,23 May, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1173, (21 - 27 November 2013)
Thursday,23 May, 2019
Issue 1173, (21 - 27 November 2013)

Ahram Weekly


AL MASAR gallery for Contemporary Art's first exhibition in the new season is entitled "The Mirage II", an exhibition of paintings by established artist Hazem Taha Hussein. It showcases the artist’s new collection. Hussein is known for his unique composition technique, building his work by overlaying Islamic patterns or motifs in the background in an effort to obscure or hide his abstract figures. Starting with the painting or drawing of figures, faces, or angels, he then covers them with paint, followed by plain areas. He finishes the work by superimposing over the entire surface, repeated and interlacing Islamic patterns or ornaments that he is fond of. The result is an optical illusion similar to a photograph. It shows a profile that is never motionless before the eyes, but constantly appears and disappears. The patterns superimposed on the figures create a sense of fluidity, movement and change. The last layer with its repeated patterns is the most interesting. It resembles the repeated patterns typically found in mosques forcing the spectator to stare at one point in time. This view is fluid and will change at different times and at different states of emotion, leaving the viewer to endless interpretations and different perceptions, each time uncovering something new.
Therefore Hussein, a neo-expressionist painter, has succeeded in combining Western and eastern elements in his paintings to produce forms for the spectator to interact with and to relate to, thus evoking some visual dialogue. The works involve the spectator in a dialogue questioning the meaning rather than the perennial appeal.
The artist was born in Giza, Egypt, in 1961. He is an associate professor of visual communication design at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Helwan University. He participated in a number of group shows including Mirrors Of Continuous Change, Taekwang, Seoul, South Korea, 2010; Land of the Hyperreal: Contemporary Art from Egypt, Havana, Cuba, 2010; Triogie Méditerranéenne: from Athens to Marseille to Cairo, Palais de Arts, Marseille, France, 2008 and The Present Out of the Past Millenia: Contemporary Art of Egypt, Kunst Museum Bonn, Bonn, Germany, 2007. He held several solo exhibitions such the one at Al-Bareh art gallery, Manama, Bahrain, 2010; Ekhnaton Gallery, Cairo, Egypt, 2004; Espace-Karim Francis, Cairo, Egypt, 2001; Gezira Art Centre, Cairo, 1999; Tour Haus Gallery, Münster, Germany, 1995. The exhibition ends 3 December.



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