File: One of the paintings of Britt Boutros Ghali.
On the occasion of International Women’s Day, world renowned Egyptian Norwegian contemporary artist Britt Boutros Ghali launches the biggest retrospective for her “Women of My World” series - titled “Hawanem.”
“Hawanem” in colloquial Arabic means a ‘group of noble women.”
The exhibition is set to be a grand celebration for women around the world and more specifically, the women of Egypt who are the true inspiration behind this body of work.
“Hawanem” opens for the public from March 10-12, 2023 from 5:00pm to 10:00pm at The Factory (formerly known as the Townhouse) in downtown Cairo.
“The women of Egypt have inspired me since the day I set foot in Cairo in the 70’s. I was blown away by the intrinsic role they play in the progress and prosperity of Egyptian society,” said Britt. “Women from ancient Egypt were icons of strength and power - more than any other place on Earth. The Egyptian woman’s movement is the oldest movement of its kind in Arab history. Adding to all of this, the majority of Egyptian women are the main breadwinners of their households – working in the informal sector as caregivers, seamstresses, cooks, cleaners, agricultural laborers, hairdressers among other jobs. They are strong, intelligent, fierce, colorful, full of life, humor and spirit,” added Britt.
Passionately and prolifically producing both emotional abstracts and figurative expressionism, her work is charismatic and bold, exuberant and memorable, celebrating life, beings, energy and dream-like visions. The “Hawanem” exhibition is like a memoir of faces swathed in textured fabrics and luminous colors, describing the soulful essence of the Egyptian feminine spirit, with its intuition, playfulness, strength and sacredness. Joyful, fervent, and always spirited, Britt’s work is a favorite among art collectors and enthusiasts around the world - and encapsulates the unique aesthetic of Egypt’s contemporary art.
Considered to be one of Norway’s most important artists of this century, she is revered for her enigmatic work, and was made a Knight of the Royal Order of St. Olav in 1996 “for services in art”. The only other artist in the history of Norway awarded the St. Olav’s Order was Edward Munch around 1933.
As part of the Abstract Expressionist movement in Europe, she has exhibited internationally with widely-collected works in both private and public institutions. Some notable names outside of Egypt where Britt had solo exhibitions include Hardanger and Voss Museum, Norway; Museé D'Art Contemporain, Marrakesh, Morocco; Slovak National Museum, Bratislava, Slovakia; Galerie Pierre Cardin, Espace Vega, Paris, France; Kunst og Industrie Museum, Trondheim, Norway; Galerie Schloss Ramseck Stuttgart, Germany; Traffic Art Space, New York, USA; Gallerie Nova Sin, Prague; Anjou Art, Tjan, The Haag, Holland;
The artist moved to Egypt 50 years ago when she married her late Egyptian husband Raouf Youssef Boutros Ghali. An avid fan of Egypt and its people, Britt considers Egypt her main home and lives there permanently.
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