Adel El Siwi Egyptian , b. 1952

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.



2017, In the presence of the Animal, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2017, The Face and beyond, Artspace Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2015, Artspace Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2013, Inception Gallery, Paris, France

2013, Artspace Gallery, London, UK

2012, Artspace Gallery, Dubai, UAE

2010, The Fables, Horizon One Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2009, Contemporary Icons, Artspace Gallery, Dubai ,UAE

2008, Au delà du visage, Le Violon Bleu, Tunisia

2007, Siwi Faces, Artspace, Dubai, UAE

2006, My stars, Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art, 

2006, Espace Karim Francis, Cairo, Egypt

2005, French Cultural Center, Alexandria, Egypt

2004, lllusion Art Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait

2004, Atassi Gallery, Damascus, Syria

2004, Agial Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

2003, Ammar Farhat Gallery, Tunisia

2003, Al Riwaq Gallery, Manama, Bahrain

1999, Akhnaton Gallery, Center of Arts, Zamalek, Cairo, Egypt

1999, Vision Egyptienne d'Eternité, Ville d" Agde, France

1996, Egyptian Academy, Rome, Italy

1995, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1993, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1993, Epreuve d’Artiste, Beirut, Lebanon

1992, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1990, Papiry Gallery, Berlin, Germany

1990, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1989, Koreuber Gallery, Berlin, Germany

1988, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1987, Cairo Atelier, Cairo, Egypt

1985, Cairo Atelier, Cairo, Egypt

1980, Cairo Atelier, Cairo, Egypt



2015, SYRA Arts, New York, USA

2014, Contemporary Egyptian Art, Egyptian Academy, Rome, Italy

2012, 25 years of contemporary Arab art, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris

2011, Window on contemporary Egyptian art - London

2009, Helga Hoffman Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands

2009, Invisible presence: Looking at the Body in Contemporary Egyptian Art, (curated by Stefania Angarano), Samaakhana, Cairo, Egypt

2009, The Face, Horizon One Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2008, Arabia Italia: Chelsea Art Museum, New York, USA

2008, Word into Art - Artists of the Middle East: traveling exhibition (curated 

by Venetia Porter), The British Museum, Dubai, UAE

2008, Mediterranean Trilogy, Palais des Arts, Marseille, France

2008, Arab artists in between Italian and Mediterranean Traditions (curated by

Martina Corgnati), Damascus/Beirut/Cairo

2007, Occidentalism (curated by Karim Francis), Swiss hotel, Cairo, Egypt

2005, Al Azhar Park meets Contemporary Art, Azhar Park, Cairo, Egypt

2005, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2005, Fonoon Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2005, Espace Karim Francis, Cairo, Egypt

2003, ARAB canvas (curated by Saleh Barakat), Dubai, UAE

2003, Arab paintings for Children (curated by Mohie Al Labbad)

Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France

2003, Repliques, (curated by Philippe Mouillon), Algeria

2003, Human Face in Contemporary Egyptian Art, Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt

2002, Contemporary Egyptian Art, Beijing, China

2002, Ateliers Arabes, Unesco Hall, Beirut

2002, 18 International artists: Homage to King Henry IV 

(curated by Philippe Mouillon), Lyon, France

2001, Contemporary Art in Egypt, Mexico City, Mexico

2000, Italian – Egyptian Contemporary Art Confrontation, Gezira Art Center, Cairo

2000, Trans African Art, Orlando Museum of Modern Art, Florida, USA

1999, A la nuit tombée (curated by Philippe Mouillon), Grenoble, France

1999, 12 Contemporary Egyptian Artists, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France

1998, Bellektin - Moderling, Dolmabachi Cultural Center, Istanbul, Turkey

1998, Days of Kom Ghorab, Hanager Art Center, Opera House, Cairo, Egypt

1997, Contemporary Egyptian Art, University of Lebanon, Beirut

1997, Sans Frontières, Gallery Micheline Fallet, Geneva, Switzerland

1995, Lexus Hall, Jedda, Saudi Arabia

1995, Modern Egyptian Art Exhibition, Marseille, France

1995, International Institute for Commerce, Mexico City, Mexico

1994, Rencontres Africaines, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France

1994, National Gallery, Johannesburg, South Africa; Capetown, South Africa; Lisbon, Portugal

1994, British Council, Cairo, Egypt

1993, Modern Art Museum, New Delhi, India

1989, Ghoury Palace, Cairo, Egypt

1986, Foreign Artists in Italy, Palazzo Innocenti, Florence, Italy



2009, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy 

2008, The Other, Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt

1997, Alexandria Biennale, Alexandria, Egypt

1997, Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah, UAE

1997, Modernities and Memories: Recent works from the Islamic world, Venice Biennale,

Venice, Italy

1996, Biennale of São Paolo, São Poalo, Brazil, parallel works in Rio de Janeiro

1996, Cairo Biennale, Cairo, Egypt



2006, Translation of Giuseppe Ungaretti’s Life of a man

2001, Translation and preface of Paul Klee’s Bauhaus Lectures

1997, Member of the Supreme Council of Culture, Egypt

1997, Editor of the magazine of Visual Art Ain

1996, Creator of the Kom Ghorab Community Art project, Old Cairo

1995, Translation and presentation of Leonardo da Vinci’s A Treatise on Painting

1994, Art director of the film Ya Donia ya Gharami, directed by Magdi Ahmed Ali



British Museum, London, UK

The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE

Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, Cairo, Egypt

 Institut du monde Arabe, Paris, France

Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE

Greater Cairo Library, Egypt

Cairo International Airport, Egypt

Kinda Foundation, Riyadh, Saudi Arabi

 Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunis