The Zamalek Art Gallery – where the artist has held a number of exhibitions throughout his life – also mourned his passing.
Born in Cairo in 1925, Gazbia Sirry studied fine arts and became a professor in the painting department of the faculty of arts at Helwan University. She was also a professor at the American University in Cairo.
She was widely regarded as one of Egypt’s foremost artists, with a varied and innovative career spanning over 50 years. His academic work has retraced the political history of Egypt.
Her work is dominated by women in unmistakable poses of power stemming from female unity, playing roles in both public and private spheres.
Her previous work deals with polygamy and the enhancement of fertility and reproductive power in women.
Sirry’s paintings captured the relationship between feminist consciousness and Islamic Futurism.
In the late 1950s, Sirry made stylistic and thematic changes to reflect the grim vibe created by the discontent caused by the crackdown on dissent and the restriction of political freedoms across the country.
In the mid-1960s, when it became very abstract, these dramatic changes were apparent. Her art is distinguished by its innovation in expressing the feelings and traditions of the Egyptian woman of the 1960s.
Abstraction was replaced in the early 1970s by the reappearance of human forms, but the dark paintings represented Sirry’s fears for the emancipation of women.
In the 1990s, she helped free Egyptian women from age-old traditions through her work.
Sirry has organized more than 50 solo exhibitions around the world, notably in Paris, Washington DC, Venice, Sao Paolo, Stockholm, Dakkar, Kuwait and Tunis; several of his paintings have even been officially purchased by international museums.
Among its many distinctions are the first prize of the Cairo Salon, the State Merit Prize and the first degree of the Order of Sciences and Arts.
In his 90s, Sirry continued to paint for the love of art and to express his joys and fears. His last exhibition in Cairo took place in April 2020.
In 2016, Sirry organized a retrospective exhibition titled “Art is My Life” which celebrated his rich artistic repertoire at the Zamalek Art Gallery in Cairo. The exhibition spanned the 68 years that made up Sirry’s career, exhibiting works from the 1940s through to the artist’s most recent paintings in 2010.
His paintings are on permanent display at the Museum of Modern Egyptian Art in Cairo, the Museum of Modern Art in Alexandria, the Maritime Museum in Alexandria and other renowned museums and institutions.
Sirry’s funeral will take place on Thursday, November 11 after midday prayers at the Mostafa Mahmoud Mosque in Mohandeseen, Cairo.