Art lovers have a great opportunity to enjoy a different taste in art with works by Iraqi artist Afifa Leibi, whose paintings are on display at the Picasso art gallery.
The exhibition, ‘Stations of Alienation’ was opened by Maya Morsi, President of the National Council for Women, in the presence of a number of artists and some public figures.
“This exhibition is my first in Cairo and it is a wonderful experience in my career to present my works to an Egyptian audience,” Leibi said in an interview with the Egyptian Mail.
“Art is a humanitarian work that affects every human being in all countries, my works are not directed to a specific audience or country, they are directed to humanity and this is what I am interested in,” Leibi added.
Nagwa Ibrahim, the gallery’s curator said: “It took two years to set up this exhibition. We selected Afifa Leibi because she is a distinguished artist.”
“Leibi’s exhibition is her first in Egypt, so we display paintings that express different stages on her journey, as she has moved around in more than one country for 35 years, and she has gone through stages of sadness, hope and optimism — hence the title of the exhibition, ‘Stations of Alienation’,” Ibrahim said.
The exhibition comprises 30 paintings, in which Leibi uses different shades of green next to different shades of yellow in an approach to some brutalist themes as if her palette in a pleasant space.
Leibi was born in 1953 in the city of Basra in the far south of Iraq. She studied at the Institute of Fine Art in Baghdad while working as a painter for the Iraqi press, before leaving for the Soviet Union in 1974 to study and specialise in huge art at the famous Soikov Institute in Moscow.
Due to the political situation in Iraq, she was unable to return to her homeland after completing her studies and decided to move to Italy and return later to Moscow, before settling in Yemen to work as a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts.
She now lives in the Netherlands and still takes part in cultural activities to support the Iraqi and international democratic movement in the struggle against terrorism, racism, war and dictatorship.
‘Stations of Alienation’ runs until November 30 at the Picasso art gallery, Zamalek.