Contemporary Arts

Gazbia Sirry

(b 1925),



Gazbia is considered one of the leading Egyptian artists, with a varied and innovative career of more than 50 years. She studied Fine Arts and in 1981 became a professor in the Painting Department of the Faculty of Art Education, Helwan University. She was also a professor at the American Universiy in Cairo from 1980 to 1981.


She is a famous artist who has made her mark in the Egyptian Neo-Expressionist movement, innovative and daring, with brave efforts at revealing what it is to be a woman in an eastern country.


Her career is rich and diversified, and is characterized by an extraordinary versatility. It would be difficult, though, to confine and limit Gazbia in any traditional school, although her vivid and bold brushstrokes share features with neo-expressionism: a school of individuality and personality.  Her art is distinguished for renewal where she expressed the feelings and traditions of the Egyptian woman during the 1960s.  In the 1970s, she painted pyramid shapes in the desert of which female figures formed a part to express the daily life of the Egyptian woman , and in the 1990s, she helped in liberating the Egyptian woman from the old traditions: her women, unfettered once more, recline by the sea, and sit with their lovers on park benches.


With a rich curriculum, including more than 50 personal exhibitions, from Paris to Washington, from Stockholm to Dakkar, from Venice to Sao Paolo, from Kuwait to Tunisia, official purchases by international museums, international prizes, scholarships and important university chairs, Gazbia got many prizes: The Rome Prize for Painting in 1952,the Honoring prize for Oil Painting from Venice International Biennale in 1956, the Second Prize for Print from Alexandria International Biennale in 1959, The 4th Prize in Monaco Contemporary Art Exhibition in 1968 and The State Prize of Merit in 2000.


Gazbia continues to paint for the love of art, a way to express her joys and fears. Describing her art, Mokhtar El Attar, said:”Gazbia does not paint, but rather pours her soul, talent and intelligence on the canvas. She was born to be the conscience of the nation, with its hopes and pains, joys and sorrows.”

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