SUNDAY, JANUARY 20th, 6:00 PM - FEBRUARY 7th, 2013
Honoring the second anniversary to Egypt’s ever changing movement, does 6 Contemporary Arts open its doors to a landmark collection of works from the early to mid-19th century, down to the late 1990s and early 2000s, with works by an exquisite collection of artisans, civilian scholars, scientists, master painters, and ethnographers from Scotland, England, Egypt and France.
EL MAHROUSA carries a collection of engravings from the Description de L’Égypte. A series of Volumes dated from 1809 – 1829, whilst the works were being created and collected into study notes during the French Expedition into Egypt (1798) and their departure by 1801. This was the time when the term Masr El Mahrousa was born, and did Egypt’s grace and grandiosity come into realization. The French had become aware of the magnificence of the country’s rich and diverse history, resulting in the engravings, once published, had they become outdated from the time they were made, to the time they were released barely a few years later.
Initiating El Mahrousa with the French Expedition, have we invited The Reader’s Corner to honor our halls with published paintings and engravings by David Roberts (1796-1864). Roberts’ Middle Eastern journey began in Egypt, and traveled through Sinai, Aqaba, Petra, Hebron, ending in Gaza and Jerusalem. He spent nearly twenty weeks in Egypt, and released the first Middle Eastern volumes in 1842, publishing Egypt and Nubia volumes between 1846-49. Granted the title of an Orientalist painter, his work is by far one of the most groundbreaking and influential visual documentations granted to Egypt’s recorded history to date.
With this exclusive collection handled by The Reader’s Corner, will we have available an exquisite and diverse body of Plates from the London Edition.
Jumping 150 years ahead, had we decided to close our selection with a renowned fine artist, painter and ethnographer from Egypt’s locale: Awad Elshimy (b. 1949). Honoring a rare body of work done in the early 1990s and continued up until 2004 a series of lithographs addressing the element of the figural Warrior and his armor, interspersed with the Oriental motif, comes an observation of history from an alternative universe onto one’s own. The presence of the window series, as though put on an embankment of the outside looking in, and inside looking out – is left to one’s own resolution. Are we detailed with the significances of architectural elements, abstractly referencing urban landmarks of Cairo? From the Qalawun window set to fortressed Mamluk and Ottoman motifs, gentrified on graphic paper, domed and masked behind layers of mixed histories, has Elshimy offered the observation of the spectator out into a bewilderment of historical inflation. Alternatively, in the Apotheoses of an Old Warrior, does a contrast of shades set across a man’s armor, but no body – lays out a legacy across the novel work in all its former glory, a dream once occupied by power lost to time and its faithful companion: Prosperity.