Perhaps you’ve started the year wanting to further explore the cultured side in you, or maybe you’ve just always wanted to wander through an art gallery trying to make sense of paintings that sometimes seem incomprehensibly abstract; in any case, this is the list for you.
Cairo is abundant in contemporary art galleries which house the brilliant works of both well established, as well as up and coming local artists.
Visit any one of these galleries and revel at the wealth of talent our local artists have to offer.
TAM.Gallery (Formerly known as The Arts-Mart Gallery)
This particular gallery is undoubtedly worth the journey one would make for the visit. Having initially launched itself as an online platform in 2012, TAM.Gallery has evolved into being the first and biggest online art gallery in Egypt and the Middle East, as well as Cairo’s largest physical art space.
According to the venue’s Facebook page, “With an inventory of over 7,000 art pieces and a continuously expanding portfolio of over 500 contemporary Egyptian artists, TAM.Gallery is the largest multi-platform art organization; comprising of both online and offline galleries, an exhibition space and an events venue.”
Having taken over an old automotive warehouse, the space itself is vastly impressive and the gallery regularly hosts a variety of different exhibitions throughout the year.
Ubuntu Art Gallery
Ubuntu is a smaller venue hidden along a tree-lined Zamalek street, making it a true treasure to find. This small space has a lot of heart, with an invitingly charming atmosphere no matter the exhibition on display. Founded in 2014, Ubuntu has gone on to display the works of over 40 local artists – all of whose works are unique in their own rights.
According to the gallery’s Facebook page, “Ubuntu Art Gallery aims to showcase artists from all walks of life with the common goal of sharing their unique passion for artistic expression.” And you’ll surely feel that passion as soon as you stumble across the venue.
Picasso Art Gallery
One of the older venues, and a Zamalek favorite, Picasso Art Gallery was initially established in 1970 followed by its newer (current) venue which was established in 1996. For years this well known art gallery has displayed the works of generation after generation of Egyptian artists – some of which had initially displayed at the gallery as ‘up and coming young artists’ and have grown into fame throughout the years.
This gallery is a classic, to say the least, and has undoubtedly paved the way for many a local artist. It still continues to hold both group and solo exhibitions to this day and is surely well worth a visit.
A truly unique space in the heart of downtown Cairo, Townhouse Gallery is a must visit venue that will surely leave an impression. Established in 1998 as the first independent art space in Egypt, Townhouse has evolved into a diverse venue bringing both local and international artists together through cross-cultural exhibitions, workshops, and even residencies.
According to the venue’s Facebook page, “Townhouse supports artistic work in a wide range of media through exhibitions, residencies for artists and curators, educational initiatives and outreach programs. By establishing strong local and international relationships… Townhouse aims to support and expand the knowledge, appreciation and practice of contemporary arts in Egypt and the region.”
Zamalek Art Gallery
Another classic, Zamalek Art Gallery has been exhibiting the works of contemporary Egyptian artists for over 20 years. It is a wonderful venue with curation that never ceases to amaze and truly does justice for the uniquely diverse artworks on display.
According to the gallery’s Facebook page, “[The gallery’s] mission is to faithfully represent art pioneers in Egypt and the entire Arab region, as well as providing support and guidance to some of the most promising up-and-coming artists on the scene today.” If ever in the beautifully buzzing Zamalek area, this is a place you won’t regret stopping by.
Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art
Another downtown favorite, Mashrabia Gallery of Contemporary Art has been a pioneer in Egypt’s art scene since the mid 70’s. Under new management in the 1990’s, the gallery started playing a larger role in the presentation of both non-Egyptian artists in Egypt, as well as the promotion of young Egyptian talents.
Since then, Mashrabia has continued to regularly host exhibitions on a monthly basis both at its venue in downtown Cairo as well as other venues across Egypt and abroad. According to their website, “The continuous promotion of established artists and the search for new talents has enabled the creation of a rich and diversified permanent collection.”
Utterly unique in its venue and atmosphere, Darb 1718 is a cultural hub unlike any other. The multi-faceted venue regularly hosts a variety of exhibitions, events, workshops, concerts and so much more – all of which add their own flavor of richness to Egypt’s contemporary art scene.
According to their website, “Darb 1718’s long-term vision is to promote social change, to sensitize people and to expand their horizons through the inspiration and education of artists and the broader community.” Visiting Darb 1718 is truly an experience not to be missed.
*Featured image courtesy of the TAM.Gallery Facebook page