Issue No.1175, 5 December, 2013      03-12-2013 08:53AM ET
The Zamalek Art Gallery presents a memorial exhibition that commemorates the memory of legendary sculptor Gamal Al-Sagini (1917-1977), known as the "master of hammered copper." It showcases a collection of rare selections of hammered copper, memorial medals and coins that are on display for the first time.
The artworks on show reflect the great talent of the sculptor and his very unique technique, form, motifs and artistic structure in hammering copper. Being a highly-cultured man is a fact embodied in his works, as reflected in the medals that he created to commemorate the memory of Egyptian and Arab icons, such as late president Gamal Abdel-Nasser, legendary diva Umm Kulthoum, dean of Arabic literature Taha Hussein and King Faisal bin Abdel-Aziz of Saudi Arabia. Al-Sagini had a very strong belief in art as a brilliant means for deepening the patriotic sense of the viewer. As a result, he was the first artist to advocate showing statues in Egypt's different squares and streets that would become part and parcel of the city's architectural planning.
He is inspired by Egypt's rich folk heritage in his hammered copper paintings, which he created in a very distinguished style that brilliantly expressed his social and political beliefs that were associated with the 1952 revolution, the defeat in 1967, the war of attrition and the 1973 October victory. He endeavoured to document the different stages in Egypt's history and was among the first artists who used the technique of narration in his hammered copper paintings such as Hiroshima, War and Peace (1958), The Farewell (1952), The Christ (1962) and The Blind Stomach (1968), which is the work shown here.
The exhibition ends on 11 December.