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ArtistŐs Statement

 

In 1939, in Cairo, Egypt, I became a member of a group of avant garde artists - poets and writers - who joined together in rebellion against the stagnation in art and politics that existed around us at the time. The group was called Art et Liberte'. 

 

My first exhibit was with this group, an act that gave me the energy and the courage to develop my own personal artistic expression, and to develop my focus as a painter on the life struggle of the working poor in Egypt, especially those who worked the land.

 

In 1946, I and eight of my artist friends formed a group that we called "Groupe de L'Art Contemporain". We exhibited our work in museums and galleries and represented Egypt in several international Biennales.

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El Gazzar, Kamal, Nada, 1948

 

In 1954, our group was invited to show our work in Paris and I was asked to organize the exhibit. It was very exciting for the group and an opportunity for me, not only to exhibit my work, but also to meet and interact with other artists and to experience first hand the exciting developments in the European art world of the 1950's.

 

Over the years there have been artists I have admired greatly. But emotionally and intellectually I am incapable of following trends. I have always had to follow my own path.  While my painting began with a distinctly Egyptian flavor, it has evolved, I believe, into my own very individual style.

 

Kamal