Omar El-Nagdi

Omar El Nagdi was born in Cairo in 1931 and studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts of Helwan University. Nagdi continued his training in Russia and Italy, eventually graduating from the Academy of Venice in 1967. A prodigious pioneer in Egyptian art history, In the 1960s, Nagdi exhibited in Europe alongside the Western masters Claude Monet, Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dal. His works were soon after acquired by leading institutions around the world. An active member of Cairo's art community and of the Liberal Artists' group headed by Taha Hussein, Nagdi was an extraordinary painter and who equally excelled as a film director and music composer. A multi-disciplinary artist, Nagdi worked with sculpture, oil, watercolour and mosaics. Inspired by the diverse cultures that he encountered in rural Egypt, he fused in his works the Pharaonic and Islamic iconography with Cairo's urban culture idioms and Western aesthetics. His works visually enigmatic and captivating and inspired by folk art and traditions are reflections on everyday life in Egypt. His paintings are sufficient proof of his exceptional gifts for symbolic design and the splendid use of colour. Through his expressive textures, colours and symbolic elements, his works offer a communication that is deeply felt.

Text by: Bonhams Auction House