Samir Rafi (Egypt, 1926-2004) Untitled,

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Lot 183*
Samir Rafi
(Egypt, 1926-2004)
Untitled,

Sold for US$ 9,600 inc. premium
Samir Rafi (Egypt, 1926-2004)
Untitled, oil and pencil on board, signed and dated '73 lower centre, framed,98.5 x 79.8cm (38 3/4 x 31 7/16in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    From an important private collection, Cairo, Egypt; this work was acquired by the current owner from an exhibition of Rafi's works held at the Palace of Arts Exhibition Pavilion, Cairo, in January 2005.

    Exhibited:
    Samir Rafi: Masterpieces on show for the first time in 50 years, Palace of Arts, Cairo, 2005.

    Samir Rafi's talent was discovered early on in his life which prompted his teacher Hussein Youssef Amin, the founder of the 'Group of Contemporary Arts', to organize the artist's first exhibition in 1943 when he was just seventeen. A work from this exhibition was acquired by the Art Museum of the Ministry of Education. Rafi continued his education and graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cairo in 1948.

    In the late 1940s Rafi joined Amin's Group of Contemporary Arts which included, amongst others, prominent artists such as Ramsis Younan, Fouad Kamel, Kamel El Telmisany, Injy Efflaton and Abdul Hadi el Gazzar.

    The artistic objective of the members was to employ authentic Egyptian traditions in their art by applying popular symbols and philosophy, in order to counter imported and Orientalist trends, thus producing an indigenous form of contemporary art. Wijdan Ali (Ed.) Contemporary Art from the Islamic World, 1989, London, pp.37-38. Rafi's works of the 1950's were described as fresh, vibrant and daring and his work quickly earned him a good reputation within the Egyptian art scene.

    Unlike his contemporaries el-Gazzar and Nada, Rafi's works do not include elements of traditional Egyptian culture and symbology. Most of his work revolves around the relationships between men and women in a cosmopolitan environment. The reason for this absence of tradition in his works can be attributed to his time spent in Paris, where the artist lived from the late 1950s until his death in 2003.

    Throughout his career Rafi repeated the subject matter of the woman figure with a wolf which was intended to symbolize unfaithfulness. Many of his paintings reflected an angry and serious theme. In the current work he has chosen to merge the faces of the wolf and the woman in a very distinct surrealist style.
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