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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, by Hossam Dirar (detail)
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, by Hossam Dirar (detail)

13 Best Art Exhibits Of 2016

We asked three Cairo galleries to share their favorite picks of the exhibits they curated in 2016.

selections from Al Masar Gallery, Art Talks Gallery and Gallery Misr, compiled by Noha Mohammed

1. Salah Enany, Resurrection, at Al Masar Gallery

Native, by Salah Enany

Native, by Salah Enany

“Why do I paint, sculpt and exhibit my works afterwards? I always find the answer to that is simply a resurrection of my being, just like the old Egyptian artists,” says Salah Enany. This year his exhibit Resurrection showcased the evolution of his impressionistic works. Enany deliberately maintained their vivid colors and forms “to allow the soul to perfectly return to a lively symbol of the past pharaohs . . . we all need a new resurrection of mind and soul, reforming our inner selves.”

2. Kareem Al Qurity, Passing Faces, at Al Masar Gallery

Al Imam El Zahaby, by Kareem Al Quirty

Al Imam El Zahaby, by Kareem Al Quirty

This artist is inspired by the faces of people in his daily life and their expressions on the street. Al Qurity has a way of manipulating expression, composition and body language, skillfully giving a voice to the silent faces in his paintings.

3. Essam Darwish, Vitality II, at Al Masar Gallery

Growing III, by Essam Darwish

Growing III, by Essam Darwish

Darwish is a promising name in the sculpture world, shooting to fame with his busts of author Taha Hussein and Egyptian footballer Saleh Selim. At the Aswan International Sculpture Symposium, Darwish presented several works made of harsh materials used boldly and creatively.

4. Bahaa Amer and Adam Henein, The Sweetest Haven, at Art Talks Gallery

Brunette/Samraa, by Adam Hunein

Brunette/Samraa, by Adam Hunein

Bird of the South, by Bahaa Amer

Bird of the South, by Bahaa Amer

Bahaa Amer focuses on youth in today’s shifting sociopolitical climate. He builds on his extensive knowledge of the fundamental myths and beliefs of his past ancestors to recount present-day problems. Migration, romance, livelihood and the afterlife feature as elements of hope and challenges. Adam Henein – Arab world’s most celebrated and influential living sculptor – returned to painting this year with new works fresh out of his studio in Harraniyya. This time he explores the use of egg-based tempera, a painting technique found in early Egyptian sarcophagi decorations and many of the Fayoum mummy portraits, the latter dating as far as the first centuries AD.

5. Guirguis Lotfy, Renee. Nothing Else Matters, at Art Talks Gallery

Sham El Nessim, by Guirguis Lotfy

Sham El Nessim, by Guirguis Lotfy

Lotfy produces stunning depictions of contemporary daily Egyptian life using long forgotten elaborate and rich painting techniques, such as egg tempera, and ensures the transmission of this unique art to future generations. Lotfy masters this elaborate method to depict two-dimensional set of local characters and iconography.

6. Yasser Rostom, Doves and Crows, at Art Talks Gallery

Aylan, by Yasser Rostom

Aylan, by Yasser Rostom

This surrealist artist is dubbed the ‘Arab Dali.’ His repertoire tackles a variety of issues, from gender and love to the more controversial topics of sexuality and politics.

7. Sayed Saad el Din, Circles in the Sand, at Art Talks Gallery

The Return, by Sayed Saad el Din

The Return, by Sayed Saad el Din

In pursuit of his passion for art he left Minya at the age of 17 and headed alone to Cairo. He received scholarship grants, numerous local and international awards, public commissioning and residencies abroad.

8. Moataz Nasr, Untitled, at Art Talks Gallery

Untitled, by Moataz Nasr

Untitled, by Moataz Nasr

Nasr is one of the most significant multimedia artists of his generation. He employs painting, sculpture, and photography, video and public art in order to create installations, which connect past and present.

9. Hossam Dirar, Invitation Au Voyage, at Art Talks Gallery

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, by Hossam Dirar

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, by Hossam Dirar

Dirar is a multidisciplinary artist working across painting, photography, installation, video and graphics. His works are conceived as a reinterpretation of Egypt’s rich visual heritage, overlapping between the multicultural character of Cairo, the city’s complex and ever expanding urban façade, the region’s traditional iconography and the influence of contemporary media in shaping cultural referents.

10. Adam Abd ElGhaffar, Affiche Plaisir, at Gallery Misr

by Adam Abd ElGhaffar

by Adam Abd ElGhaffar

In 2015, Affiche Plaisir toured the Middle East with exhibitions in Cairo, Tunisia and Beirut. This year, Abd ElGhaffar revisited film posters from all three countries resulting in a collection of 45 Egyptian, Tunisian and Lebanese films. His posters can be described as minimalist and experimental, despite great diversity in styles.

11. Hanafy Mahmoud, Illusion, at Gallery Misr

HM 3, by Hanafy Mahmoud

HM 3, by Hanafy Mahmoud

This visual artist is powerfully in tune with his surroundings and closely observes humanity’s sensual and psychological dimensions. His paintings consist of life-size figures or groups of men and women, often nude, set against dreamlike backgrounds.

12. Shaima Sobhy, Nymphomani, at Gallery Misr

Painting-Project O1, by Shaimaa Sobhy

Painting-Project O1, by Shaimaa Sobhy

Her works engage with the tensions and hypocrisies that underpin gender in Egyptian society. Shaima has participated in various collective exhibitions in Cairo, Alexandria and Luxor in Egypt and internationally.

13. Gamal El Kheshen, End of Season, at Gallery Misr

Don't Speak, by Gamal El Kheshen

Don’t Speak, by Gamal El Kheshen

“The end of a new season is drawing near, and here I am standing on its sharp edge, stepping into a new one with a shivering soul, moving from a state to another, feeling the agony of human transformation,” writes Gamal Elkheshen about his exhibit.

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Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
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Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
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Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
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Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
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INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy
INTERGALACTIC COMPANY
"Ridiculus enim cras placerat facilisis amet lorem ipsum scelerisque sagittis lorem tis!"
Jojn Doe, CEO
Tel.: +1 (800) 123-45-67, +1 (800) 123-45-68
Fax: +1 (800) 123-45-69 (any time, 24/7/365)
E-mail: info@intergalactic.company
Website: http://www.intergalactic.company
Address:
221, Mount Olimpus,
Rheasilvia region, Mars,
Solar System, Milky Way Galaxy