Contemporary Arts

Farghali Abdel Hafiz

(b 1941)

Farghali is one of Egypt’s most established artists, with a career spanning six decades and several continents. Graduated of the Institute of Art Education and the Academy of Fine Art in Florence. In 1989, he was elected Dean of Faculty of Art Education until 1994 and ever since has been a Faculty Professor.


His sensual, highly textured canvases are filled with expanses of saturated color and finely drawn detail. His work shows his deep concern with well-being, looking to both high and low culture, and often carrying a political message. He plays with ideas of Egyptian culture, history and exoticism. The result is a highly seductive art of braided connections that both physically and metaphorically work on many levels. In his world modern life and ancient history can comfortably co-exist.


Farghali’s work is strongly rooted in the identification with his environment. He lives and works in Dahshur, one of the most ancient historical sites in Egypt and home to a number of major pyramids from the Old Kingdom. The pace of life is little changed from that time. He lives and breathes the place through his work, which provides him a quiet and spiritual environment, a sanctuary from the nearby urban sprawl. Originally from Dariout in Upper Egypt, Farghali is familiar with the naïve qualities of its local art. His works are filled with expanses of saturated color and finely drawn detail, evidence of his close connection to Egyptian folk art. He fuses his bold unmixed colors with materials taken directly from his immediate surroundings, including straw, sand, mud and clay, to create a highly expressive, spontaneous style.


He represented Egypt in several biennials, including Sao Paolo in 1985, Venice in 1972, 1987 and 1993, and China in 2002.  He was a founder of the Axis Group in 1981, one of the most influential art movements in Egypt in the Post-Modern period. He participated in over twenty international exhibitions in Europe and the United States. The exhibition at Lawrie Shabibi is the first solo for Farghali Abdel Hafiz in the UAE.

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