A talk to explore the rise and evolution of contemporary Egyptian art, with expert Yasmine El Dorghamy and The British Museum’s Venetia Porter
About this Event
For most people, the words ‘Egyptian art’ immediately evoke images of tomb paintings, golden statues, and imposing monuments. For some, they conjure up examples from Coptic or Islamic art. Rarely, however, does mentioning ‘Egyptian art’ inspire any images from the twentieth century.
When the Egyptian School of Fine Arts opened its doors in 1908, enrolment rates were much higher than anticipated. Its graduates, however, as well as other local artists, never had it easy. At home, they lived in a country fraught with political unrest, fighting for its independence, and looking at art almost purely as a means of defining its national identity. Abroad, they were either eclipsed by their distant ancestors or judged by Euro-centric standards and Orientalist stereotypes.
Forging an independent identity for Egyptian modern art has thus remained elusive. Successive generations of artists have taken different paths as they strove to define and redefine themselves and their art over the course of the past 100 years.