It is little recognized in the United States that Egypt, so long and so well known for its magnificent ancient art and culture, has also produced contemporary modernist art of note. Egyptian artists now work in all media and draw inspiration from both their country's rich past and its vibrant living present to communicate their individual creative vision. It is therefore with great pleasure that The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents this exhibition of the works of two of the most prominent contemporary Egyptian artists, abstract painter Farouk Hosny and sculptor Adam Henein. The exhibition, which this catalogue accompanies, has been organized to coincide with the exhibition "Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids," the Museum's historic comprehensive survey of the art of the Old Kingdom.
Farouk Hosny, who was born in Alexandria, began painting his evocative abstractions during the late 1960s. He has lived in Paris and in Rome, and his works reflect his internalization of modernist trends there, but his pictures are always infused with his innate connections with the light and color of his native land. Adam Henein, born in Cairo, was first recognized for his sculptures during the 1950s. Although his works also evoke connections with various currents of European modernism, an emotional charge emanates from them that can only come from the hand and mind of an inheritor of Egypt's formidable past. He was, in fact, head of the design team that helped restore the Great Sphinx of Giza.
Hosny and Henein are members of the international community of art, even as they also are heirs to the great culture of their homeland. They have exerted a formidable positive influence on contemporary Egyptian art, by the example they have set through both their work and their activities encouraging the development of an active and lively contemporary art world in Egypt deserving of wider recognition. The Museum thanks these two artists for their help and cooperation in making this exhibition possible.