Moataz Nasr (Egypt, born 1961) El Thaher Wa El Baten (The Manifest and the Un-manifest)
Lot 424
Moataz Nasr
(Egypt, born 1961)
El Thaher Wa El Baten (The Manifest and the Un-manifest)
Sold for £20,000 (US$ 32,007) inc. premium

Lot Details
Moataz Nasr (Egypt, born 1961)
El Thaher Wa El Baten (The Manifest and the Un-manifest)
textile
signed and dated 2010 (on the reverse), number one from an edition of five
170 x 170cm (66 15/16 x 66 15/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property from a private collector, UK

    Literature:
    Simon Njami, Moataz Nasr: The Other Side of the Mirror, Gli Ori 2011, p. 83

    Exhibited:
    Dubai, Lawrie Shabibi, Moataz Nasr: Collision, 2013

    London, Selma Feriani Gallery, Moataz Nasr: In a Nutshell, 2011

    In El Thaher Wa El baten (The Manifest and the Un-manifest), the artist uses the Arab form of the word Elhob ('love'), this is executed in the distinct style of old Egyptian tent hangings.

    This work brings together two art forms central to the Arab world: the high art of traditional Arabic calligraphy and the popular art of patchwork tapestry making. Through his careful choice of composition, medium and execution, Nasr reveals several layers of meaning. The radial symmetry of the individual words repeated multiple times, reflects both a sense of unity in multiplicity and circularity. What seems at first to be two layers of wording, a contrast between the white lettering of the upper layer over apparently dark grey lettering, is in fact an illusion. The 'grey' letters are themselves white, partially screened by a black veil that separates the two layers.

    The works themselves are produced in the "Khayemeya" district, in a technique familiar to any visitor to Cairo. Based around Bab Al-Futuh, an endangered medieval area of Cairo, originally the Tent Makers produced the geometric patchwork hangings that decorated Bedouin tents- now mainly used for special occasions, and these days survive making cushion covers and bedspreads for the tourist market.
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