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Published in Al-Ahram Weekly on 30 - 08 - 2016

For the fifteenth consecutive year, Zamalek Art gallery presents an exclusive collection of paintings and sculptures crafted by 35 of the most prominent Egyptian artists. The heartwarming exhibition includes 38 paintings and 27 sculptures. Entitled “Masterpieces XV,” the exhibition showcases in the gallery's two venues exquisite artworks by among other names: Abdel-Rahman Al-Nachar, Abdel-Aziz Saab, Adel Mustafa, Anas Al-Alousi, Carelle Homsy, Gamal Abdel-Nasser, Nathan Doss, Gamal Al-Sagini, Rabab Nemr, Yasmine Al-Hazek, Khaled Sorour and Gazbia Sirry.
Born in Cairo, Gazbia Sirry studied fine arts and became a professor in the painting department of the faculty of Art education, Helwan University. Gazbia is considered one of the leading Egyptian artists, with a varied and innovative career of more than 50 years.
Her career is richly embellished with extraordinary works of art and her paintings are characterized by an extraordinary versatility. It would be difficult, though, to confine and limit Sirry in any traditional school, although her vivid and bold brushstrokes share features with neo-expressionism, a school of individuality and personality.
With a rich curriculum, including more than 50 personal exhibitions, from Paris to Washington, from Venice to Sao Paolo, from Kuwait to Tunis, official purchases by international museums, international prizes, scholarships and important university chairs, Sirry continues to paint for the love of art, a way to express her joys and fears. Describing her art, late critic Mokhtar Al-Attar, said: "Gazbia does not paint, but rather pours her soul, talent and intelligence on the canvas."Her works are painted in vibrant colors with strong black contours and a slight flattening of the picture plane, which became her signature style.In 1965, Sirry earned a fellowship to join the Huntington Hartford Foundation in Pacific Palisades, California, an artists' colony in the Santa Monica Mountains. Though she had travelled and studied often in Europe in the 1950s, this was her first visit to the United States. According to the artist, this experience had a profound impact on her art practice. Though she painted primarily representational works while at the colony, the experience introduced her to the American style of abstract Expressionism. Sirry continues producing works of art to this day, living and working in the affluent island suburb of Zamalek in Cairo. She still responds to political shifts in Egypt, reacting to the January 25th Revolution with an exhibit of new work in the Spring of 2012.
The exhibition is on until 30 September.

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