RAMSES YOUNAN, UNTITLED
01 Painting, Middle East Artists, with Footnotes, #21
The present work explores themes of poverty and disparity throughout a period of social inequality and extreme poverty experienced across Cairo. The divergence between the wealthy and the underprivileged is prevalent in the work, especially when one examines the juxtaposed figures represented across the canvas. More on this work
Ramses Younan (Minya, 1913 — Cairo, 1966), was an Egyptian painter and writer.
Ramses Younan created in 1939, along with Georges Henein, Ikbal El Alaily and Edmond Jabès, the surrealist journal La Part du Sable. He was also a prominent member of the trotskyist group Art et Liberté from 1939, and edited the magazine El Magalla El Guedida between 1943 and 1945. Hostile to British colonialism, to Hitler and to Stalin, Younan published his own Arabic translations of works and essays by Albert Camus, Franz Kafka and Arthur Rimbaud.
In 1947, Younan participated in the International Surrealist Exhibitions in Paris and Prague and signed Rupture Inaugurale, the collective manifesto published by Parisian Surrealists.
His first personal exhibition was held in 1948 at the Gallery Nina Dausset (Paris). He also published in 1948 a dialog with Henein, Notes sur une ascèse hystérique, strongly criticizing Surrealist automatism.
Younan returned to Cairo in 1956 and faced an increasingly stifling political and cultural climate, but remained true to his principles and his views on art and freedom. His work is on display in Egypt, as well as at the Sharjah Art Museum as part of a long-term exhibition curated by the Barjeel Art Foundation. More on Ramses Younan
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