16 January 2019 – 13 February 2019


Recent Paintings by,


Opening | Wednesday 16 January | 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

‘ The exhibition will continue through 13 February, 2019 ‘

AL MASAR GALLERY is delighted to announce the opening of the Solo Exhibition by acclaimed Artist HAZEM TAHA HUSSEIN (b. 1961),  featuring his latest paintings inspired by his continues abstract works on his inner thoughts, inner dialogue and self-expressionism…

Artist Statement | Inner Dialogue

Shut off from my surroundings – an inner dialogue that is exactly how I feel and hence, what I express, in this exhibition. I do not need to document the events unfolding in the World today, or in my life. The use of the language of abstraction and semi-abstraction emerges from an inner need to form visually my own virtual world. In this world, I am free to criticize, shout or reject without feeling the need to justify myself. For now, it is simply my way of communication.

I consider abstraction to be the only freedom I have in this life. I have created a virtual world that I inhabit in a dreamlike state. It is at once emotional and egotistical, with its own logical and imaginative dimensions. All appear in the mixture of semi-representational or non-representational elements like Islamic ornaments.

Abstraction, whether geometric or not, gives me a vast space within which I can express myself without boundaries. Simultaneously, it allows my viewers an opportunity to freely imagine and interpret the semi-representative forms, ornaments, scratches, textures and colors individually. However, I am inviting my viewers to feel the poetry and music that appear in their own aesthetical norms, traversing the large philosophical questions, and delivering “timeless” and “globally” recognized symbols, with full freedom, without the obstacles of culturally or historically related representational elements. 

The Flower of Life

The idea of patterns ‘in my paintings’ started 1980s, in Cairo. It has a lot to do with the meaning of beauty and life. This unite I’m using called ‘flower of life’, it has a long history in different ancient civilizations. The repetitive geometric form on the top of organic shape or geometric form gives always a double meaning. One time can be hidden & women faces, but also hidden sexuality behind a veil. The contradiction between our Perceptional understanding for the cultural signs and western aesthetical norms of modernism and part of post modernism, lead sometimes to misinterpret the artwork.


There are many signs and thoughts appear like clashes when we see artwork from other cultural domain. Such as ancient Islamic artefacts are somehow mixed in our intersubjective with our today’s point of views for contemporary Islamic images, and build an “automatic” interpretation for what can be considered as contemporary Islamic or Middle Eastern visual art. This kind of pre-judgments can lead easily to misreading and cause a hug interruption for the aesthetic pleasing.


My work depends on self-reading for the west-east hybrid values. Sometimes I function as an orientalist in my orthodox environment, other time as Occidentalism. Many of my visual effects and techniques are hybrid … my ideas and narratives are also hybrid.

For me the pattern above a body or a face is not just a veil, much more is a symbolic of love, life and beauty…

Hazem taha Hussein | January 2019

About the Artist:

 Hazem Taha Hussein (B, 1961) Graduated from the faculty of applied Arts, 1983. Since the early 80’s, he has been working as an artist, designer and teacher of visual communications design in Germany, Egypt and now in Bahrain. After developing the series of “Stick figures and portrait ghosts” in 1987, Hazem moved to Basel in 1988. This was the beginning of a series of new works whereby the paintings started to be superimposed with repetitive patterns. In 2000, Hazem continued to compose his works by the Juxtaposition of patterns leading to his own series of Omar El-Khayyam (A one man exhibition showcased at Space cream Art Gallery in Cairo). As he said, Hazem was inspired by his parents who are both artists. He learned from his father the importance of building layers while constructing a painting and he learned from his mother the technique of painting abstract figures in a dynamic or three dimensional perspectives. He has more than 80 products and public art projects in Africa, India and many other European and Arab Countries. He has been involved in Photomontage exhibitions in Cairo, Marseilles and Bonn, as well as painting exhibitions in various European countries, such as Sweden and Spain.

Hazem Taha is notorious for his unique composition technique. He builds his work by overlaying Islamic patterns or motifs on the background, in an effort to obscure or hide his abstract figures. Starting with the painting or drawing of figures, faces, or angels, he then covers them with paint, followed by plain areas. He finishes the work by superimposing over the entire surface, repeated and interlacing Islamic patterns or ornaments that he is fond of. The result is an optical illusion similar to a photograph. It shows a profile that is never motionless before the eyes, but constantly appears and disappears. The patterns superimposed on the figures create a sense of fluidity, movement and change. The last layer with its repeated patterns is the most interesting. It resembles the repeated typically found in Mosques. This effect forces the spectator to stare at one point at a time. This view is fluid and will change at different times and at different state of emotions, leaving the viewer to endless interpretations and different perceptions and each time uncovering something new. Therefore Hazem Taha, a neo-expressionist painter, has succeeded in combining western and eastern elements in his paintings to produce forms for the spectator to interact with and to relate to, thus evoking some visual dialogue. The works involve the spectator in a dialogue questioning the meaning about rather than the perennial appeal.

His previous 2 Solo Exhibitions at Al Masar Gallery for Contemporary Art, Cairo, were titled: Mirage II, 2013 & Inner Dialogue- 2017, and Inner Dialogue | the flower of life, 2019. The artist has been part of many group exhibitions at Al Masar Gallery since 2008 to date.

AL MASAR GALLERY | Contemporary Art

للنص بالغه العربية برجاء الضغط هنا

حوار مع الذات

انه لحوار مع النفس, رنينه لغة بصرية تتحدثها يد الفنان من خلال خطوط و بقع لونية مستقلة, لم تُستَوحي من أي تماثل, و لكنها تتجاوز العين لتتسق مع رؤية أخري لعين بديلة متمردة “تسكن في أرجاء العمل” في تعبير شامل, يعجز التشخيص المباشر عن الأحاطة به, في بلاغة  و شاعرية تشكيلية متفرده في علاقة مباشرة مع المتلقي تستدعي لديه استنتاجات بصرية مجردة, في ثراء غير متناهي