Hamed Owais

Born in 1919 in Benisoueif, Hamed Owais graduated from the Institute of Fine Arts in Cairo to become one of the leading pioneer Egyptian artists.

Owais helped create the "Group of Modern Art" in 1947, a group that rejected surrealism "because it was essentially rebellion, or an art which did not aim at the consciousness of the people at large", in his own words.

Owais, a strong believer that revolutionary ideology should be reflected in art, devoted himself to Cairo ambiance of 1946 as revolutionary ideas were being shaped. Eventually, his work became the expression of his own devotion to the Revolution.

Besides his inspiration and influence by Picasso, Matisse and the Fauves, Owais was also influenced by Alexandria with its abundance of color and sunshine; qualities that eventually became main characteristics of his work.

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1919  Born on March 8th in BeniSoueif.

1944 Graduated from the Institute of the Fine Arts Cairo.

1946 Graduated from the Institute of Art Education – Cairo.

1947 Contributed in setting up the “Group of Modern Art”.

1952 Traveled to Italy and France, where he stayed two months to acquaint himself with the Art Movement in Europe.

1958 Traveled to Italy to participate in Venice International Biennial.

1959 Visited Poland and exhibited his works in Warsaw and Boznan.

1960 Visited Germany upon an Invitation from Ministry of Culture, to exhibit in both Berlin and Dresden.

1967 Went to Spain and obtained a degree in Art Education from San Fernando Art Academy.

1968 Traveled to France, England, Germany, Italy & Austria to get acquainted with the Art Movement, He also exhibited in Karlsraw in Germany.

1972 Upon invitation from the Ministry of Culture, he visited the Soviet Union, and exhibited in Hermitage Museum in Leningrad, in the Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow, and also in the city of Bako in Azerbidjian.

1979 Visited Germany where he stayed one month, and gave three lectures on “Contemporary Egyptian Art”.

1981 He Visited China as Curator for “The Contemporary Egyptian Art’s” Exhibition in Peking.

1988 He visited Italy where he exhibited in “The Egyptian Academy” – Rome.

1989 Traveled to Baghdad to represent “Contemporary Egyptian Art” in the Fine Arts Festival – Baghdad.

1999 Visited Granada in Spain as “Pioneer in the Egyptian Plastic Art Movement” in Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Islamic Egyptian Center – Madrid, One of his paintings was used to illustrate the Cover of the Catalogue as well as the invitation Card.



1952-1954–1956 Participated the Venice International Biennial.

1955-1957–1969 Participated in first, second, third Biennial respectively.

1957 Participated in the International New Delhi exhibit.

1958 Represented Egyptian Modern Art in Peking.

1959 Represented Egyptian Modern Art in Moscow.

1967 Represented the Egyptian Modern Art in the “Artists from AlexandriaTravelling Exhibition in Madrid, Barcelona & Paris.

1971 Represented the “Egyptian Modern Art” in the “Artists from AlexandriaTravelling exhibition in Berlin & Prague.

1981 Participated and curated the “contemporary Egyptian Art” exhibition in Peking.

1998 Participated in the “Contemporary Egyptian Art” in TashkandAzerbidjian.

1999 Participated in the “Contemporary Egyptian Art” “Egyptian –Spanish Cultural Week”, Exhibition in Granada.


Museum Collections

Dresden Museum

Germany, Berlin Museum

Germany, Bosnan Museum

Poland, Pushkine Museum

Moscow, Museum of Oriental Arts

Moscow, Contemporary Art Museum

Barcelona, Museum of Modern Art

Cairo, Museum of Fine Arts

Alexandria, Mahmoud Sayid Museum

Fine Arts Institutes Museums in Cairo & Alexandria

Qatar, Doha Museum



1956 Awarded the Gogenheim International Prize.

1957 Awarded the Biennial Prize in the “Mediterranean Countries Second Alexandria Biennial”.

1958 Received Cairo Salon Prize.

1962 Awarded the Biennial Prize in the “Mediterranean Countries Third Alexandria Biennial”.

1982 Awarded the State Prize “2nd degree”.

1984 Awarded the “Pioneer Prize” from “University of Elmenia”.

1985 Awarded the “High Distinction” Award “1st degree”.

1996 Received the “Appreciation Award” from the University of Alexandria.

1997 Awarded the “Pioneer in Arts Prize in the International Alexandria Biennial for the Mediterranean Countries”.

1998 Awarded the “Pioneer in Arts Prize in the 23rd National Exhibition for Plastic Arts”.

2000 Awarded “The State Appreciation Award in Fine Arts”.