The Written Word
December 2nd – January 14th, 2013
Opening the doors to The Written Word, we are met with the timeless spectacle of the works of a great pioneer, Salah Taher (1911 – 2007), an honored guest whose art is an unrivaled milestone, accredited by his sole progenie Ayman Salah Taher.
During the selection of this exhibition, we aimed at contrasting the classical pen and ink calligraphy of the Khatat, with fine art of both the studio and the streets. By exhibiting work from such diverse forums, the visitor can sample The Written Word that is happening NOW in Cairo. Mohamed Hassan, Ahmed Fahd and Mustafa Emary represent the fine masters of calligraphy, all working within the discipline and yet developing subtle and delightful innovations. Meanwhile, Osman Andrew Young honors the spirit of calligraphy and takes the viewer on a partly abstracted ethereal journey digitally and on canvas. Finally, Ibrahim Saad and Ammar Abu Bakr are two fine artists who throughout the course of the past 2 years adopted the street as their murals. Here in The Written Word the younger generation who seeks to adopt the importance of writing a ‘statement’ as opposed to reciting a popular verse, have their say.
Our sequence of works starts with the unrivalled milestone of Salah Taher’s earlier work. Visitors are greeted by seven of his pivotal works inspired by the single written word “Howa”. In all its divine simplicity, Howa simply reaching out to the heavenly “Him”, was a movement not many historians wrote about during or after Salah Taher’s lifetime. He captured the importance of his life work through creating abstract purposes to this one meaning, this one word, this one work of art made in thousands of multiple ways during the 1980s and 1990s; all capturing the essence of what this great painter was able to achieve from his lifetime knowledge of existence. Howa evokes a connection to “HE, who is beyond naming”, a connection beyond that of the human realm, in adoration of the Almighty.
The Written Word occupies its walls with 7 prominent names, honoring one another in such a way that only the spectator can bring forth the values of their collective meanings, in the context of today’s contemporary Cairo. All residents of the city, we open the doors to a formative younger generation, supported by a timeless pioneer at its entrance.