Tahia Halim

Tahia Halim

1 December - 19 December 2019





Tahia Halim’s paintings depict Egyptian characteristics, and her art was influenced by each phase in her life. Tahia Halim’s unique use of colours and textures gave her artwork a distinguished look unlike any other. This style was deeply influenced by ancient Egyptian, Coptic, and Islamic heritages. known as the Lover of Nubia. Tahia Halim was a kind soul full of passion.

This passion translated to her work, giving her a distinct cultural identity that she merged with her expressionistic painting.

“She unleashed her emotions and surrendered to the sound of her heart, believing that what comes from the heart reaches other hearts.” Hussien Bicar.

“Tahia Halim’s composition has a strong body that doesn’t happen through mental awareness; she follows her intuition over her logical thinking. Her strong fine lines define sizes and blocks, and those lines give its composition balance, portraying ancient drawings that we never get bored with despite their repetition. —Aime Azar.

About the Artist

Tahia Halim was born in Cairo in 1919. Her primary education took place inside the Royal Palace, where she was raised, as her father was the laureate of King Fouad. She took two years out of high school to study French, piano, and painting with the painters Youssef Traboulsi and the great artist Gerom, and then with the artist Hamed Abdullah at his studio in 1943. She married Hamed Abdullah in 1945 and left for Paris to join the Julian Academy (1949–1951). She returned to Egypt in 1951 and started exhibiting in solo shows, group exhibitions, and international exhibitions such as the Biennial of Alexandria, Italy, Brazil, Sweden, England, France, Poland, and finally in the USA in 1982.

Her artwork was divided into three periods: the first was composed from 1941 to 1951; the second was a more confident and original art called Folkloric impressionism; and the third was focused on Nubia, clearly demonstrating the influence of old Egyptian art. In 1984, she started teaching painting in her atelier in Cairo. Tahia Halim was awarded the Guggenheim prize in 1958 and the Government Encouragement prize in 1968. Her paintings are in the Guggenheim in New York, the Modern Art Museum of Egyptian Art in Cairo, and in Stockholm.


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