Farouk Hosny a contemporary artist of international standing, is deeply rooted in his home ground. What is extraordinary is that he has been able not only to develop as an artist within the confines of some of the best academies, but also to perform successfully at the highest level within his country’s institutions, eventually becoming Egypt’s Minister of Culture. This process reminds us less of the Renaissance than of the ancient Mediterranean cultures where art once enjoyed exceptional prominence. Hosny’s truly intriguing work demands of the viewer a considerable capacity for abstraction and a profound involvement with his world: his lines and colours, with their subliminal message, reach beyond their high aesthetic values to tell tales of far away. Congratulations Farouk! Let’s hope that there will be others in the world capable of repeating your great performance.
Piero Mainardis de Campo
Direttore artistic di Venice Design
Farouk Hosny knows full well, therefore, that in our time painting is not simply a visual instrument of representation: it is, independently, representation itself; capturing the attention of the watcher’s eye in an enduring and persistent manner though time; unable to reconcile itself to a mysterious fascination from which it seems difficult to detach. This is because the Egyptian artist knowingly exalts in his works all intrinsic evocative and memorial qualities of colour and reaches a lyrical and non-objective manifestation of his most secret inner world, thus definitively representing himself in a powerfully spiritual manner and, as can well be seen, depicting his own personal and inalienable dream of art.
Enzo Di Martino
Venice August 2008
Farouk Hosny is not trying to combine the classic Egyptian forms with one another –be they pyramids, landscape details, desert, or blue skies-but rather his pictures speak of the clear declaration of beauty in the present Egyptian world. The quiet decidedness and focused illustration of a coloured carpet, which at first glance appears to be disjointed and abstract, upon further and closer inspection is well balanced, harmonious, and joyously put together, distinguished by lightness and weightlessness.
It is not a decorative art, but rather the strongly developed desire of the artist’s soul to convey the bright, colourfully diverse world of Egypt without presenting it in a poster-like or even naturalistic way. Exactly the opposite- the subtle conflict with the prescribed, the desire for the creative process within that seeks form and artistic interpretation of its own soul in its spontaneity, dynamic, and vitality- this is the equalizing counterpart to the everyday working world of the Cultural Minister, Farouk Hosny.
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
Traduzione a cura dello staff del National Geographic Society
It’s not often that one meets an artist capable of carrying forward such an artistic discourse through time, such a powerful gift for cultural order; with a commitment undertaken at the highest levels of public life. Farouk Hosny belongs to this small circle of the artists and is, actually, a most original painter: one who has been, in his time, at the helm of some of his country’s most prestigious cultural institutions- even holding the office of Egypt’s Culture Minister. But it should be noted straight away that the co existence of these various roles does not derive from some generic eclecticism, or from of activism. An artistic vocation is foremost in the personality of Farouk Hosny- the persistent conviction that art releases the power of his messages, above all into a society where passion is probably at its most refined, and where it can be joined with cultural organization and political astuteness. Hosny’s journey between art and duty makes one think once again of other great twentieth century personalities: the President poet Senghor , Nobel prizewinner Andre Malraux – writer of “The Human Condition” and “Hope, as well as Minister of Culture in General De Gaulle’s early governments. Farouk Hosny’s painting. as has been pointed out before, has the same formal unquietness as Klee’s and has its own dynamic reason too- a continuous affirmation of the searching artistic spirit. Hosny is an artist who remains truly contemporary, who describes modernity not as emphasis, but instead by projecting images that denote the entire unresolved complexity.
Vincenzo Maria Vita
His painting steps outside perspective, creating imaginary, linear landscapes render by free, fluid strokes which combine and kaleidoscope to generate new, fresh images. Symbols of the mind and psyche, stratified through the cultural and the existential, reflect the totality of a painterly commitment which is creative anthropological, and historical. Faith in the value of perception (present in a rapport with nature since the days of Monet), able to reclaim for the artist the right to translate into his work a visual sensation as an absolute and independent fact; that same faith later characterized in a virginity of conscience that presides over the poetry of historic abstraction, allows the painter to discover a place of absolute freedom.
Maria Teresa Benedetti
He has chosen the path of the great colourist , who , from Van Gogh to Gauguin through Kandinsky and Matisse, attain abstractionism. Hosny has singled out and passed through the most open and solar side of this way, where expression agrees with language and coincide with it. The result is a painting of graphic reveries, gestural emphasis, and erudite chromatic lightings that underline a secret relationship with nature. The elements and sights that are evoked. Thus, some large open spaces of a deep but not impassable blue recall the sky of Cairo after a fiery sunset before the different brightness of the moon spreads. Some yellows of deep ochre are dull as if dried up by the breath of a torrid wind.
Alternated with firm and intact greens, immediately joined in our imaginations with the desert, with its footprints, its silences, and the oasis , places of rest and inevitable suggestion in Farouk’s paintings: the same area of Miro and, most important, Matisse, who considered the Mediterranean not only a symbol of light and colour but stimulus to follow the routes of distant but related civilizations where are still alive and alert.
I believe that it is because of this Mediterranean heritage, composed of beauty and moderation, that Farouk Hosny cares to put chaos to order, rather than to cause it. As a result, chaos is no longer a disintegrating and sterile element, but it becomes an active and joyful force.
For all its lack of identifiable subject matter, Farouk Hosny’s Paintings are open to being understood by the viewer as an ongoing abstract “interpretation” of visual phenomena in the real world: buildings landscapes, object and even outer space. Suggestions of forms are rendered with just enough detail for them, but not so far as to push the resemblance too close to the literal. Even the presence of a pyramid in one of his canvases remains ambiguous enough for us to wonder if indeed it isn’t simply an inverted triangle in space. In Hosny’s rendition, it is a sign for “pyramid”, in much the way that pyramid itself functions as a symbol of worldly forces working in concert with divine.
ver time, Farouk Hosny’s style has changed gradually from the realism of his early seascapes and landscapes to a richness and beauty where the iconography is less orthodox. On the occasion of Farouk Hosny’s exhibition in 1999 at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Director Phillippe de Montebello commented on this transition when he wrote that “his works reflect his internationalization of modernist trends but his pictures are always infused with his innate connections with the light and colour of his native land.”
To Farouk Hosny, we owe our thanks for agreeing to his exhibition in Fort Launderdale and Houston. It is our pleasure to introduce his paintings to new audiences and show the contemporary side of Egyptian art, which has been so dominated in recent years bythe presence of the 18th dynasty and King Tutankhamun . We are very grateful to Arts and Exhibitions Internationals, which is responsible for organizing Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs, for bringing Farouk Hosny’s work to our attention. Our sincerest thanks go to John Norman, President and CEO, Mark Lach, Senior Vice President; and Jolie Coursen, Director of Exhibitions Operations, at AEI and Andres Numhauser, President of Museum Consulting Services, Inc., for facilitating the loan of the works of art.
Peter C. Marzio
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston