Tabari Artspace Middle Eastern Art Gallery

B. 1952

Painter Adel El Siwi is known for his monumental figures and elongated faces, as well as his ongoing artistic exploration of the relationship between animals and human beings. Having trained in medicine it is evident that El Siwi has mastered the human anatomy, indeed the human figure is a central theme within his work, a subject he has explored inside and out negotiating both form and philosophy.

Adel El Siwi studied medicine at Cairo University between 1970 and 1976, however simultaneously indulged in independent study at the Faculty of Fine Arts between 1974-5. In 1980, he relocated to Milan, Italy, where he lived and worked for a decade before moving back to Cairo where he currently lives and works.

Siwi has participated in the Cairo Biennale (1996, 2008), the Sharjah Biennial (1997), and the Venice Biennale (2009). His work has been included in a number of group exhibitions, including: Rencontres Africaines, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (1994); Modernities and Memories, Venice Biennale, (1997); Transafrican Art, Orlando Museum, Miami, (2000); Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, (organized by the British Museum), Dubai (2008); Oum Kalsoum: La quatrième pyramide, IMA, Paris (2008); ItaliaArabia, Chelsea Art Museum, New York (2008). Siwi was invited by “Le Laboratoire: Sculpture Urbaine” to project his work onto historical buildings in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (1996), Grenoble, France (2000), Alger, Algeria, (2003).

In addition to his career as a visual artist, Siwi has translated numerous art historical texts into Arabic by artists such as Leonardo da Vinci and Paul Klee.