AL MASAR GALLERY │Contemporary Art

4 March – 29 March 2012

Al Masar Gallery for Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of a special solo exhibition titled “EAST…WEST” by internationally renowned Egyptian artist Taha Hussein (b. 1929) who belongs to the third generation of the Egyptian art movement. This special exhibition gathers the accumulation of 3 years of work (2009 -2011) & is dedicated to the artist’s 83rd birthday & a life-time achievement in art which is about to complete six decades.

إن التفاعل مع الثقافة الأجنبية يؤدي إلى تنشيط القطب الذاتي نحو طرقه عملية معايشته في الطريقة الذاتية” جوته -١٨٢٨ م

The exhibition does not relate in its content and meaning to the geographical sense of a place, but it is rather dedicated to the cultural and creative sense behind the arts, and other human creations and its various activities that of which civilizations and cultures have lived through across the ages in the “East and West”.

For a long time, the relations, cultural interactions and influences between the East and West went uninterrupted which resulted in the richness, diversity and tremendous innovation of people’s thought and culture which marked the ancient, modern and contemporary times.

In this exhibition, the artist is inspired by the thought and philosophy of pioneering German poet “Wolfgang Goethe” (1748 – 1832 AD), who embraced his relationship to the East which he had communicated in his book “Al Divan Al Sharky lel Mo’alef El Gharby” (1819 AD) (AKA Westöstlicher Diwan/ The West-Eastern Divan) as well as in his daily and yearly journals (1828 AD) that is kept in his museum in Dusseldorf, Stuttgart in Germany.

Through the paintings, the artist is inspired by several European & Oriental artists thus establishing a dialogue with their own personal characters & selves which is represented in his own adaptations of famous paintings by Michael Angelo, Matisse, Leonardo Da Vinci, Van Gogh & Bronzino.

Artist Statement:

The exhibition does not relate in its content and meaning to the geographical sense of a place, but it is rather dedicated to the cultural and creative sense behind the arts, and other human creations and its various activities that of which civilizations and cultures have lived through across the ages in the “East and West”.

For a long time, the relations, cultural interactions and influences between the East and West went uninterrupted which resulted in the richness, diversity and tremendous innovation of people’s thought and culture which marked the ancient, modern and contemporary times.

In this exhibition, the artist is inspired by the thought and philosophy of pioneering German poet “Wolfgang Goethe” (1748 – 1832 AD), who embraced his relationship to the East which he had communicated in his book “Al Divan Al Sharky lel Mo’alef El Gharby” (1819 AD) (AKA Westöstlicher Diwan/ The West-Eastern Divan) as well as in his daily and yearly journals (1828 AD) that is kept in his museum in Dusseldorf, Stuttgart in Germany.

Goethe delved into cultural awareness and communication between East and West “the other (the foreign) and the self in the other”, which is the concept that expressed the idea of what the “self” & the European heritage has been through since the era of political transformations in the late nineteenth century thus becoming part of the European culture and its institutions in the fields of science as well as the power of its culture and its cultural policy.

Goethe states in his book that the interaction with foreign culture contributes to the understanding of self culture. This saying shows his strong relationship with Iranian poet “Hafez Shirazi” which began after studying translations of his works. The wonderful thing is that despite the fact that “Hafez” lived in the fourteenth century, Goethe referred to him across the years as his “twin brother”.

This was the European thinker Goethe and his portrayal of his relationship with “Hafez” which corresponds to the relationship of Europe with the Arab Islamic & the Persian worlds since then and until the modern times.

Perhaps the discovery of self in the other and Goethe’s views and writings on the subject best describes the content and the direction of this exhibition. The artist is inspired by Goethe’s idea of communication with the East which inspired the artist to select a few international artists “European & Oriental” and some of their famous paintings to start a dialogue with the style, technical trend and artistic direction of each artwork as well as forming a self analysis and a critical reading in order to gain a full understanding of its time, vision and place. “With the self techniques that are characterized in their uniqueness of the private path and approach they take”.

Artist Mohamed Taha Hussein
February, 2012

كلمة الفنان

“إن التفاعل مع الثقافة الأجنبية يؤدي إلى تنشيط القطب الذاتي نحو طرقه عملية معايشته في الطريقة الذاتية…” جوته (١٨٢٨ م)

المعرض لا يرتبط في مضمونه ومعناه بالمعنى الجغرافي ، بل بالمعنى “الإبداعي” في مجالات الفنون، وغيرها من الابداعات الإنسانية ، و التي عايشتها الحضارات والثقافات على مر العصور “شرقاً وغرباً…”.

فمنذ زمن بعيد لم تنقطع العلاقات والتفاعلات والمؤثرات الحضارية بين الشرق والغرب بما أحداث ثراءاً وتنوعاً وتجديداً هائلاً في فكر وثقافة الشعوب، قديماً وحتى العصر الحديث والمعاصر.

هذا المعرض، أقدمه اليوم منطلقاً من فكر وفلسفة الرائد والشاعر الألماني “فولفجانج جوته” ( ١٧٤٨ – ١٨٣٢ م) والذي تواصل عن طريق علاقته مع الشرق والممثلة في مؤلفاته ومدوناته “الديوان الشرقي للمؤلف الغربي” عام ١٨١٩ م ، كذلك المدونات السنوية واليومية (١٨٢٨ م) والمحفوظة بمتحفه (دوسلدورف – شتوتجارت، بألمانيا).

عايش جوته جدلية التعرف والتواصل الثقافي بين الشرق والغرب “بمعنى الغريب والذاتي في الغريب”، هذا الفكر المعبر عن المفهوم الذي عايشته “الذات والتراث الأوروبي منذ عصر التحولات السياسية في اواخر القرن التاسع عشر الملادي والذي أصبح جزء من ثقافة أوروبا ومؤسساتها في مجالات العلوم والثقل الثقافي والسياسة الثقافية.

يقول جوته كأحد الشخصيات البارزة في مدوناته… “إن التفاعل مع الثقافة الأجنبية يؤدي إلى تنشيط القطب الذاتي نحو عملية معايشته في الطريقة الذاتية…” هذا القول الذي ابداه جوتة في علاقته مع الشاعر الإيراني “حافظ شيرازي” الوثيقة؛ والتي بدأت بعد اطلاعه على ترجمات عنه.. ومن الرائع ورغم أن “حافظ” عاش في القرن الرابع عشر الملادي، إلى أن جوته وصفه عبر الزمان “بأخوه التوأم”.

هذا كان جوتة المفكر الأوروبي محقاً في وصفه لعلاقته “بحافظ”… هذا الوصف المطابق لعلاقة أوروبا بالعالم الإسلامي عربياً وفارسياً وحتى عصرنا الحديث.

لعل في إكتشاف الذاتي في الآخر، وما أتى به جوته من أراء ومؤلفات ما يفسح عن مضمون وإتجاه المعرض والذي استدعيت فيه “جوتة” بفكرة التواصل مع الشرق ومجموعة مختارة من بين فنانين عالميين “اوروبيين وشرقيين” في حوار مع النمط والفكر والإتجاه الفني لكل عمل منفرد وتحليل “ذاتي” وقراءة نقدية في إستيعاب للزمن والرؤية والمكان الذي أنجز فيه “بتفرد ما يحتويه من خصوصيه في ألإتجاه والأسلوب

فنان محمد طه حسين،
فبراير
٢٠١٢

Taha Hussein was born in Gamalia on 14 February, 1929. He was raised in the historical districts encompassing the environs of El Azhar and Sayedna El Hussein mosques. Both areas are rich with Islamic architecture and centers of cultural activity as places of religious and political discourse with its richness of social and political pulse, and human behavior. Living in a unique atmosphere of a special place in the Arab world inevitable contributed to the depth and religious references in his work.

Having excelled in drawing at school, earning affectionate nicknames as “the teacher of drawing”; he was trained with the finest art teachers at that time. All this led to Taha Hussein joining the Applied Arts Royal college, where he completed his studies in 1951 ranking the top of his class, gaining his path into Arts which he is still continuing until this day through lecturing at the College of Applied Arts, and painting in his country side Atelier among the greenery and enjoying the gentle breeze, an atmosphere, which he says, charges of his soul.

To view full painting with its caption, click on the image to enlarge it.