25 May 2024 08:24 AM

Inji Eflatoun

Monday، 20 July 2009 - 12:00 AM

Inji Eflatoun pursued free studies in art. Since 1942, she participated in the exhibitions of the "Art and Freedom Group".

 This was the first society that attempted to free modern Egyptian art from the bonds of the academism and formalism then prevailing.

In March 1952, she had her first one-person exhibition in Cairo and from that time, she held 28 solo shows in Egypt and abroad. She exhibited in Rome in 1967, at the "Paese Nove" gallery; in Paris at the " Galerie de l’Universite’ "; in Dresden, East Germany; Warsaw, Poland; Moscow and Prague.

She held a one-person show in 1979, in New Delhi, India; in 1981 at the Egyptian Academy in Rome; and in 1988 in Kuwait. She has also participated in group exhibitions such as the Biennale of Sao Paolo in 1953; the Biennale of Venice 1968; and the Contemporary Egyptian Art exhibition in Paris in 1971.

In 1975, Mrs. Eflatoun helped organize the “Ten Egyptian Women Artists in Half a Century” exhibition, held in Cairo on the occasion of the international Year for Women and in which she took part. In 1976, she was in charge of Egyptian Pavilion at the 87th "Salon des Independants" in paris in the Grand Palais.

The artist’s works were acquired by the modern art Museums in Cairo, in Alexandria and in Dresden, the National Museum in Warsaw and by the Oriental Museum in Sophia, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Italian Deputies Council and by private collectors in Egypt and abroad.

Cavalier of Arts & Literature

In 1986, she was awarded by the French Ministry of Culture a medal of merit called ”Cavalier of the Arts and Literature”.

Inji Eflatoun who died in 1989, once wrote:

" To me, Art is expressing one’s self and the anxieties of one’s society. In my early youthful period, I adopted a surrealistic style which helped me overcome obstructions within myself, or my capacity to unload the anxiety and rebellion I carried within.

"In 1946, the Surrealist phase ended when I got fully involved in political and social work. I felt I needed to face myself again after this change in my thoughts and feelings. I had to find a new way of artistic expression to suit this transformation. I started to search for the personality of the Egyptian and the special character of the natural environment that surrounds him. This happened at the same time of my search for my roots and my identity.

I went deep into a country-side, sharing their lives, roaming in the villages and the hamlets, besides reaching to the deserts, trying to express the realities and dreams of sub dued, ordinary human beings who labor silently and patiently. I tried to praise “work” through groups of peasant women gathering the crops, capturing the quick movement of their bodies and hands, and at this moment of human "oneness", working together, happily gathering the crops.

"I then pursued my search regarding two important elements in the composition of painting: movement and light. After long years of painting I have reached what I have called “the white light”.

At the beginning, I instinctively left between the strokes of colour, made by the consecutive brush and more until I dared, in the end, to leave fully white uncoloured spaces on the canvas. White spaces came to play a very positive part in spreading light over the painted forms, thus enhancing the touch and colour of a well-studied brushstroke".

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