Egyptian Revolution: Sculptor Khaled Zaki influenced by the shrapnel littering the streets

  • DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
  • /
  • January 30, 2018

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Works from Khaled Zaki’s Resurrection series, marble, 2017

Tabari Artspace will present a series of nine new sculptures by artist Khaled Zaki, a major pioneer of modernist sculpture in Egypt. These marble works explore the relationship between form and material in the context of geopolitical unrest in the Middle Eastern region. Khaled Zaki: Resurrection is on view from March 19 to April 25 in Dubai.

In the exhibition, the artist seeks to capture the essence of his subjects with minimal formal elements, while retaining the integrity of pure white marble. Each of the sculptures consists of six separate marble components arranged in varying compositions to represent figures in states of fear, defensiveness or repose. The resulting works seem simultaneously modern and ancient, seeking to illicit a diverse emotional response born from the artist’s investigation of the infinite possibilities of the natural form.

Works from Khaled Zaki’s Resurrection series, marble, 2017

Inspired by the fragments of buildings and shrapnel littering the streets in the aftermath of the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 and the Egyptian protests of 2013 as well as the ongoing ISIS terrorist attacks in countries such as Egypt, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the artist attempts to symbolically rebuild crumbled societies; to restore order and shape a better future. This is encompassed by the titular concept of rebirth.

Currently based between Cairo and Tuscany, Zaki was born in Suez, Egypt (b. 1964) and has been a key contributor to the development of modernism in Egypt during the second part of the twentieth century. At the start of his career he sought to produce classically informed and figurative sculptures featuring human and animal subjects. During his early career, Zaki studied sculpture and established his use of stone and bronze in the illustrious workshops of Pietrasanta, Italy, a town famous since the 15th century for its carving workshops. Whilst in Italy, Zaki became increasingly inspired by the style and techniques of Italian masters including Michelangelo, Bernini, Canova and Adolfo Wildt. These luminaries of sculpture played an important part in his artistic development and continue to inform his work to this day.

Zaki holds a Masters in Restoration from the Faculty of Archaeology and a Bachelors in Management from the Faculty of Commerce at Cairo University.

Zaki has participated in global exhibitions and biennales, including his Egyptian commission at the 55th international art exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. His works can be found in the Egyptian Museum for Modern Art, Cairo, the Egyptian Museum for Modern Sculpture, Aswan, and in private collections in Belgium, Germany, USA, Ireland, Italy, Kuwait, KSA, Mexico, and UAE.

Khaled Zaki

Tabari Artspace, formerly Artspace Dubai, has been a pioneer in establishing a contemporary art scene in Dubai since it was founded in 2003 by collector and art consultant, Maliha Tabari. A strong passion for the arts led Maliha to become an expert in contemporary art in the Middle East, building her own personal collection and advising on the establishment of others.

Tabari Artspace offers both local and international audiences the opportunity to discover artists from this region through participation in international art fairs, and facilitating relationships with significant private collections and museums, including LACMA, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi and Barjeel Art Foundation.

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