Al Herbaya – The Chameleon

1959 Gouache on Paper 61 x 46 cm

 Ma règle principale - comme l’artiste oriental - est de peindre la nature telle que je la vois dans mon esprit, et non pas telle qu’elle paraît à l’œil.

My main principle - like the oriental artist - is to paint nature as i see it with my mind, not as it looks to the eye.

H. Abdalla (1917-1985)

 ___

Limons et Pulsations

par Andrée Chedid (le Caire 1920 – Paris 2011) femme de lettres et poétesse.

 

D’abord :  des êtres, des paysages , surgis d’une surface craquelée,

charriant limon et pulsations.

Hamed Abdalla les appelait « Signes ».

Papiers froissés, couleur de rocs et du sable.

Qu’importe !

Son univers était là, mêlé à celui de l’Egypte.

Cette Egypte qui, une fois vécue, demeure dans l’immense battement du sang.

Ce fut, ensuite une recherche sur vitres.

Des couches de nitrate d’argent rayées de tons vifs.

Il les appelait « Talismans »

Qu’importe !

L’univers de Hamed Abdalla s’affirmait, se bâtissait sous d’autres formes,

se cherchait dans le dessin de l’écriture.

Poussant plus loin que l’alphabet et sa géométrie décorative,

            plus loin que l’inscription du mot qui a commencement et fin,

            il tenta d’imprimer dans la toile – au moyen de la lettre même –

            un lieu de plénitude, un instant d’éternité.

Enfin, ces lettres se mirent à foisonner, à se chevaucher, créant horizons et profondeurs.

Parfois aussi, l’une d’entre elles s’amassait

Solitaire, palpable, souveraine, elle s’immobilisait ;

            devenait sembable à la pierre antique,

            traversée par les siècles, veinée par le temps.

La voie d’un artiste est pleine d’avenues et sans clôture.

Il va sans cesse. Il peine.

Il poursuit le sens toujours obscur, toujours vibrant, des choses

Il met au jour, par bribes, son monde intérieur.

Ces choses que son œil aux aguets nous font redécouvrir.

            Ce monde qui contient une part des nôtres.

Pour approcher une œuvre, les paroles semblent toujours de trop.

Il suffit d’une attention passionnée, il suffit d’un regard.

___

 

 Silts et Pulsations

 by Andrée Chedid (Cairo 1920 - Paris 2011) woman of letters and poetess.

 

First : beings, landscapes, emerging from a crackled surface,

            Carrying silt and pulsations.

Hamed Abdalla called them  « Signs ».

Crumpled papers, the colour of rock and sand.

What matter !

His universe was there, mixed with that of Egypt.

That Egypt wich, once experienced, reamins within the intense pulsing of blood.

There was after a searching on glass.

Layers of silver nitrate scratched with vivid tones.

He called them « Talismans ».

What matter !

The universe of Hamed Abdalla asserted itself, built itself in other forms,

            Sought its way in drawing writing.

Pushing further than the alphabet and its decorative geometry

            Further than the inscription of the word

            Wich is the beginning and the end,

            He tried to impress on canvas – by means of the letter itself –

            A space of plenitude, an instant of eternity.

Finally those letters began to multiply, to overlap, creating horizons and depths.

Sometimes also, one of them would gather itself.

Solitary, tangible, sovereign, it stood still ;

            Became like the ancient rock, crossed by centuries, veined by time.

The way of the artist is full of avenues and has no fences.

He moves on ceaselesly. He struggles.

He hunts the forever obscure, forever vibrating meaning of things.

He uncovers, by fragments, his interior world.

Those things wich his eye, ever alert, allow us to rediscover.

            This world wich contains a part of our own.

To approach an artist’s work, words always seem too much.

            You just need impassioned attention, you just need a look.

 

 

 

 

 

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Exhibitions

 

Hamed Abdalla (1917-1985)

 

PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

Modern Art in Cairo,

Great Cairo Library,

Museum of Fine Arts in Alexandria,

Museum of the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria,

Tate Modern in London,

National Museum of Damascus

Ministery of Culture, Damascus

Municipality of Copenhagen

New-York Public Library

Mathaf Doha

Egyptian Embassy in Paris,

Museum of Modern Art in Tunis,

 

1917

Born in Cairo, 10th August.

 

Self - taught

 

1931

Studied wrought iron in the School of Applied Art

 

1935

School of Decorative Art in Cairo. First works (1933).

 

1941

First solo show with “Les Amis de la Culture Française”, gallery Horus, Cairo.

 

1942

Several solo shows in Cairo, Alexandria, Port-Said

 

1948

Port-Taufiq Ismailia.

Collective art exhibitions in Egypt, U.S.A. and Italy.

 

1949

Opens his art school in Cairo.

Solo show in the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo.

 

1950

solo show in Gallery Bernheim Jeune, Paris (1950)

 

1951

Exhibition “France-Egypt” in Palais du Louvre (Pavillon de Marsan) Paris.

Travels in France and in England until 1951.

Solo show Ťhe Egyptian Institut, London (1951)

 

1956

Retrospective exhibition in the Palace of Fine Arts, Cairo.

Solo show in Gallery Marcel Bernheim, Paris,

Solo shows in Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Copenhagen.

Several collective exhibitions in Europe, the U.S.A. (Ťhe National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.and Metropolitan Museum , New York ) and in Asia.

Settled in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Opens a studio for young artists.

 

1957

Solo show : ”Signes d’Egypte” in Palermo , Rome, Grenaa , Aarhus.

 

1958

Solo show in “Kunstudstillingsbygningen”, Odense.

“Den Frie” Copenhagen, Randers, Viborg, Skive, Holstebro (Denmark), and Rotterdam.

 

1959

Solo shows in Herning, Odense (Denmark), Stuttgart, Sindelfingen, Siemens-Erlangen (Germany), Malmoe (Sweden), l’Atelier du Caire.

Collective Exhibitions in India, Iraq, Iran, Turkey.

Invited to the collective exhibition “Decembristerne” in “Den Frie”, Copenhagen.

 

1960

Solo show in Nyborg (Denmark)

Collective exhibitions: “Decembristerne”, Copenhagen ;

“Den Anonyme”, Odense.

 

1961

Collective exhibition: “ Decembristerne “,Copenhagen.

 

1964

Solo show: «Spejlet» (the Mirror), Royal Hotel, Copenhagen.

 

1965

Retrospective exhibitions (works 1933 -1964)

in Odense, and Gallery K.K. Copenhagen.

 

1966

Solo shows: “Det Skabende Ord”, Gallery B.B.

Randers, Aarhus, Moss (Norway).

Settled in Paris, France from May 1966.

 

1967

Solo show: National Museum of Damascus, Syria.

 

1968

Solo show: Gallery One, Beyrout.

 

1971

Visits Egypt

 

1975

Solo show in the Egyptian Cultural Center, Paris.

 

1976

Collective exhibition: “Les Indépendants – l’Art Egyptien Contemporain” , Grand Palais, Paris.

Solo show : «Société des amis de l’art» & Soviet center in Cairo

 

1978

International collective exhibition for Palestine, Beyrouth.

Solo show: Galerie Modern, Silkeborg (Denmark).

 

1979

Member of the international jury of UNESCO’s competitive posters.

 

1980

Collective exhibition: “ Art exhibition for the Palestinian resistance”, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art” (co-organized with the PLO).

 

1982

Collective exhibition for Palestine, UNESCO, Paris.

 

1983

Returns to Egypt.

Solo shows in Cairo: “Société des Amis de l’Art” in Heliopolis and Zamalek.

Represents Egypt at the Congress for Arab Culture in Kuweit.

 

1984

Collective exhibition: “First Exhibition for Contemporary Arab Art”, Museum of Modern Art, Tunis.

Conferences in Cairo on Egyptian and Arab contemporary Art.

 

1985

Passed away in Paris, 31 December.

 

 

 

Posthumous exhibitions

 

1986

 

Commemorative exhibition in Cairo Atelier, Egypt (40 days after his death).

 

1987

 

Retrospective exhibition: Galerie de Lappe, Paris.

 

1988

 

Commemorative exhibition: Galerie Ebla, Damascus, Syria

 

1989

 

Commemorative exhibition: Egyptian Cultural Center, Paris.

 

1990

 

Traveling Exhibition in Denmark.

 

Retrospective exhibition: Galerie La Part Du Sable, Cairo , Egypt.

 

Retrospective exhibition: Belfort, France.

 

1991

 

Collective exhibition: Toyamaya gallery, New York.

 

1994

 

Collective exhibition: Galerie Yahia, Tunis.

 

Commemorative exhibition: Museum of Modern Art, Cairo.

 

1995

 

Collective exhibition: “Semaine d’Egypte”, UNESCO, Paris.

 

Exhibition: Galerie Danielle Bourdette, Honfleur, France.

 

Retrospective exhibition: «Homage à Hamed Abdalla», Egyptian Cultural Center, Paris.

 

1996

 

Collective exhibition: Galerie Erik Baudet, Le Havre.

 

1997

 

Collective exhibition: Galerie Al – Ahram, Cairo.

 

Special exhibition: «l’Espoir Fellah», Galerie Autres Regard, Paris.

 

1998

 

Special exhibition: «l’Espoir Fellah», Centre Social et Culturel, Colombes.

 

Retrospective exhibition: Galerie Mashrabia, Cairo.

 

1999

 

Collective exhibition: «Pioneers of Art», Gallery Safar Khan, Cairo.

 

2004

 

Exhibition: «Oum Saber et le Paysan éloquent», French Cultural Center of Alexandria.

 

2008

 

Auktion : «Modern and Calligraphic Arab and Iranian Art»

 

2009

 

Exhibition: «Hamed Abdalla, Selected Works», Galerie Karim Francis, Cairo.

 

2013

 

Collective exhibition: TAJREED, Arab Abstract Art, CAP Koweit.

 

2014

 

Abdalla’s collection at Museum of Modern Art, Cairo, february.

 

Installation «Talisman», French Embassy, Cairo, february.

 

Exhibition: «Hamed Abdalla, Selected Works», Beyrouth, february.

 

Exhibition: «Hamed Abdalla, Selected Works»,

 

Art Dubaï, march.

 

Gwangju Biennale : “People from the Caverns”, september.

 

2015

 

Exhibition: «Hamed Abdalla, Selected Works», Cairo, january.

 

Art 15, London, May.

 

2018

 

« The Skabende Ord », Art Dubai, galerie Mark Hachem

 

International art fairs

2018 - Art Dubai2014 - Art Dubai