Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Adbel Hadi Al Gazzar
Born(1925-03-14)March 14, 1925
DiedMarch 8, 1966(1966-03-08) (aged 40)
Cairo, Egypt

Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar (1925–1966) (Arabic: عبد الهادي الجزار) was an Egyptian painter. He occupies a unique position among the artists of his generation. His membership in the Contemporary Art Group elevated his status as an artist through his utilization of social commentary in addition to the group's focus on traditional, Egyptian identity.[1] This commentary is most widely recognized in his painting, The High Dam, in which he comments on the effects of modernization by the Egyptian government on society and their way of life.[2] Since his death, his work has not ceased to challenge artists, intellectuals and critics both in Egypt and abroad.

Life and career[edit]

Abdel Hady Mohammad El- Gazzar was born on March 14, 1925, in the Akkabri district in Alexandria; he was son of a Sheikh, a religious scholar. In 1940, his family moved to Cairo and settled in the district of Sayyida Zaynab.

At Helmiyya Secondary School, Al Gazzar attended courses at the 'artistic club’ organized by Hussein Youssef Amin, the founder of The Group of Contemporary Art, in 1944; this group constituted one of the major early attempts to ground Egyptian arts in its own culture. The artists embarked on a search for Egyptian traditions and applied folk symbols mixed with popular philosophy in order to rid Egypt's art of romantic and unrealistic traces left by the earlier Western Orientalist painters. In many ways the group drew upon their predecessor, the Art and Freedom Group--as with the continuation of the use of surrealism and abstraction. However, the Art and Freedom Group focused on the breakdown of Egyptian identity, which is where they differed.[3] Al Gazzar was a member of this group, which included other Egyptian important artists such as Hamed Nada and Samir Rafi'.

In 1950, Al Gazzar graduated from the Cairo School of Fine Arts, where he subsequently worked as an assistant professor. He had his first personal exhibition held at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art in Cairo during the period December 17–24, 1951. Al Gazzar obtained two scholarships in Rome, Italy, in 1954 and in 1957. He obtained a diploma from the School of Art and Restoration of Rome. He visited schools of Fine Arts in England, France and Italy. In his early years, Al Gazzar's choice of medium was crayon or ink on paper, before moving to painting in his later years. [4]

From 1958 to 1965, Al Gazzar participated in many national and international exhibitions, winning several medals and prizes. At one Contemporary Art Group exhibition, he and his mentor, Hussein Youssef Amin, got arrested for the political commentary in their works.[5]In 1965, shortly before his death, he participated for the second time in the Alexandria Biennial.

He died in 1966 of a heart condition.


Some of the most important private and collective exhibitions:

  • 1946, Contemporary Art Group Exhibition, Paris, France.
  • 1946, Contemporary Art Group Exhibition, Bab Al Louk Licee’. Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1951, Modern Art Museum of Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1953, Fine Arts Museum, Alexandria, Egypt.
  • 1957, São Paulo Biennial, Brazil.
  • 1957, Spring Exhibition, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1958, “Art in Fifty Years” International Exhibition, Brooklyn, USA.
  • 1960, Venice Biennial, Italy.
  • 1961, Alvolka Gallery, Rome, Italy.
  • 1962, “The Revolution, Ten Years After” Art Competition, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1962, Fine Fans Society Exhibition, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1964, Cairo Saloon Exhibition, Egypt.
  • 1965, Alexandria Biennial, Egypt.
  • 1972, Contemporary Egyptian Art, Moscow, Russia.
  • 1985, Mashrabiya Gallery, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1991, Portrait Art Exhibition, Cairo Opera Hall, Egypt.
  • 1995, 70th Anniversary of Gazzar’s Birthday, Modern Art Museum of Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2001, Safar Khan Gallery, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2003, Picasso Gallery, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2004, Creativity Gallery, Cairo, Egypt.


  • 1942: 1st Prize for Painting, Helmiyya Secondary School, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1945: 1st Prize for Photography, in the National Contest for Art Products Exhibition, Denshway, Egypt.
  • 1957: Bronze Medal Award, São Paulo Biennial, Br
  1. 1958: 1st Prize for Mural Painting Design, Cairo Court Complex, Egypt.

.1958: Silver Medal Award from the Italian city of Bari, Italy.

  • 1958: Henry Moore Statue Prize, the International Exhibition "Fifty years of Arts",Brussels, Belgium.
  • 1958: Silver Medal Award from the Italian city of Palermo, Italy.
  • 1962: 1st Prize for his painting "The Charter", in the competition " The Revolution , Ten Years After ", Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1963: 1st Prize, the 40th Cairo Salon, Egypt.
  • 1964: Golden Medal Award, the 41st Cairo Salon, Egypt.
  • 1964: Medal of Arts & Science and State Incentive Award for his painting "The High Dam". Egypt.
  • 1964/1965: State Incentive Award in Photography, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1965: Full-time Grant Art, Ministry of Culture and National Guidance, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 1966: 2nd Prize for Photography, Alexandria Biennial, Egypt.
  • 1998: Medal Award by the Second Scientific Conference, Fine Arts Faculty, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt.
  • 2006: The Golden Feather by the 4th Honorary Exhibition for Artists, Cairo, Egypt.


Folk Poems. Many Articles for "the Islamic Post Magazine". Two stories: "Barber's Shop" "Soul's Departure"


State Collections
  • Museum of the Modern Egyptian Art. Cairo, Egypt.
  • Museum of Faculty of Fine Arts. Cairo, Egypt.
  • Museum of Faculty of Fine Arts. Alexandria, Egypt.
  • Port Said Museum. Egypt.
  • Banha Museum. Egypt.
  • The Arab Museum of Paris, France.
  • Museum of New Delhi, India.
Private Collections
  • Art Lovers Association. Cairo, Egypt.


  • Sobhy Al Sharouny :"Abdel Hadi AlGazzar: The Strangers", Copyright Dr. Sobhy Al Sharouny. 1961.
  • Sobhy Al Sharouny: "Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar the Artist of the Legend and Space World", National Publication House. 1966.
  • Badr El Din Abu Ghazi: "Generations of Pioneers", Publications of Fine Arts Fans Society. 1975.
  • Ezz El Din Naguib: "Modern Egyptian Art Dawn", Beirut, Arab Future House. 1982.
  • Samia Mehrez: "Abdel Hadi al-Gazzar: an Egyptian Painter", translation from Arabic to English of the poetry by and about the Egyptian painter Al Gazzar in a collective, trilingual volume on his life and work. Dar al Mustaqbal al Arabi. 1990. pp. 28–45.
  • Alain and Chritine Rosion: " Egyptian Painter Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar", Arab Future Publication House. 1990.
  • Samir Gharib: "Surrealism in Egypt", General Egyptian Book Authority. 1996.
  • Sherifa Zuhur: "Colors of Enchantment: Theater, Dance , Music, and the Visual Arts of the Middle East", AUC Press. 1998.(Modern Painting in the Mashriq, Hussein, 1989, p. 37).
  • Sabri Mansour: "Plastic Studies: Series of Plastic and Prospects", General Authority of Cultural Palaces. 2000.
  • Liliane Karnouk: "Modern Egyptian Art 1910-2003",AUC Press, 2003.
  • Venetia Porter: "Arab artists' appropriation of modernity", British Museum Press. 2006.
  • Sobhy Al-Sharouny, Abdel Hadi Al-Gazzar, Cairo, 2007 (illustrated in colour, p. 89).


  1. ^ Kane, Patrick (2010). "Art Education and the Emergence of Radical Art Movements in Egypt: The Surrealists and the Contemporary Arts Group, 1938–1951". The Journal of Aesthetic Education. 44 (4): 95–119. doi:10.1353/jae.2010.0010. ISSN 1543-7809.
  2. ^ Shalem, A. (2013-03-01). "Man's Conquest of Nature: Al-Gazzar, Sartre, and Nasser's Great Aswan Dam". Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art. 2013 (32): 18–29. doi:10.1215/10757163-2142341. ISSN 1075-7163.
  3. ^ Roussillon, Alain, and Christine Roussillon, eds. 1990. Abdel Hadi Al-Gazzar: Une Peinture Égyptienne. Al-Qāhiraẗ: Dār al-Mustaqbal al-ʻArabī.
  4. ^ Shalem, A. (2010-06-28). "Exceeding Realism: Utopian Modern Art on the Nile and Abdel Hadi Al-Gazzar's Surrealistic Drawings". South Atlantic Quarterly. 109 (3): 577–594. doi:10.1215/00382876-2010-007. ISSN 0038-2876.
  5. ^ Kane, Patrick (2010). "Egyptian Art Institutions and Art Education from 1908 to 1951". The Journal of Aesthetic Education. 44 (3): 43–68. doi:10.1353/jae.2010.0008. ISSN 1543-7809.

External links[edit]