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Salah Taher 1911–2007
Published in Ahram Online on 02 - 06 - 2020

Salah Taher (1911–2007) was an Egyptian painter. He graduated from the School of Fine Arts, Cairo in 1934, where he started taught 20 years later.
In 1966, Taher joined Al-Ahram Organisation where he produced more than 35 paintings, some of which continue to hang on the walls of the premises. Taher made some 18,000 paintings, giving over 80 exhibitions in Cairo, Venice, New York, San Francisco, Geneva, Beirut, Kuwait and Jeddah. He also participated in 67 collective fairs in Egypt. Although rooted in academic painting, his focus on colour has led to his liberation from traditional values: his style moved from realistic to figurative symbolism, and finally to abstraction, where he achieved his greatest acclaim. Aside from versatility, the most distinctive feature of Taher's art is his mastery of bold colours and the use of hard tools such as the knife.
Taher won many important awards such as the Highest State Award in 1974, the Guggenheim Foundation Award in 1960 and the first prize of Alexandria International Biennale in 1961.
His paintings are on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art in Cairo, as well as many national and international cultural institutions.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 4 June, 2020 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly


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