Born in 1972, Islam Zaher studied painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo, graduating in 1994. He received the Grant of Devotion from the Ministry of Culture in 1996 and has been awarded several prizes including the Grand Jury Prize at the 9th and 10th editions of the Youth Salon (1997-98). Since then he has exhibited in various group and solo exhibitions. The artist lives and works in Cairo.
Gallery Misr Approach Vol. 4 2019
Passive Constructions: Islam Zaher’s new exhibition
The pieces on show honestly and fiercely reflect the struggle between life and death, perfection and incompleteness. They tackle alienation and the meaning of human existence. It took the artist two years to complete the collection, which includes complete studies of objects as well as paintings. Using a dark palette and strong brushstrokes, the paintings look like designs for live scenes of a demolished city. In an expressionist style, it makes up a tour of a virtual city in the aftermath of destruction. Is it the end of the world, the termination of life, or more symbolically the defeat of good in favour of evil?
Al-Ahram Online, March 2020
90'S GENERATION AT CROSSROAD
"In his works the artist ISLAM ZAHER sets out from the same base represented by the traditional realistic approach to the figure, in its endless expressionistic abilities but with modern characteristics …"
El Helal magazine,1999
OUT OF VACCUM
"In his lines there's something that indicates to a unique talent and a singular vision for life and objects, and in his dark colors you'll find steadiness and spontaneity that altogether points to how deep his experiment is, its singularity and its ability to continuity."
El Arabie El Thaqafie, 2005
EGYPT'S DUAL NATURE REVEALED IN PAINTING
“Intuited Happiness,” the latest exhibition by artist Islam Zaher, attempts to highlight the vivid contrast that exists in the Egyptian society between what can be revealed and what must remain hidden.
Zaher depicts the schizophrenia that prevails in Egyptian society through a mixture of large paintings filled with bright colors and minimalistic drawings in various shades of brown.
“Through this work I intended to express the contradiction between inner and outer, between sexuality that has to be kept hidden and what you can show to the world,” says Zaher. The contrast is as striking as it is disturbing.
Egypt Independent, May 2010
INSIDE ISLAM ZAHER'S PINK & LAMENTATION
"Pink and Lamentation" is a unique and intriguing experience presented to us at Gallery Misr in Zamalek by the most exceptional artist Islam Zaher.
Withdrawn into their pink caves, Islam's figures summon the image of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. They are completely isolated from the outside world, perceiving it exclusively through reflections on their inner walls.
Al-Qahirah Newspaper, August 2015
IN ISLAM ZAHER'S QUADRIPTYCH:
Philosophic and Artistic Nature of "Homage to Kafka"
Inside Islam's four paintings, there is an enigmatic space akin to dormant pain despite the radiant colors, bearing many allusions to Kafka's dogs. Before these paintings, the viewer will see a translation of Kafka's words in Islam Zaher's visuals. This experience is a rare mating between two different ways of expression, one is physically absent but present by projection within the four corners of Zaher's four existential viewpoints.
Fatma Ali, on Islam Zaher's "Investigations of
a Dog" Quadriptych
Al-Qahirah Newspaper, August 2016
AGAINST THE TYRANNY OF AESTHETIC FASHIONS: REMNANTS OF ENCHANTMENT AT GYPSUM GALLERY
Superficially expressionistic in style, Zaher’s semi-abstract paintings of objects such as furniture are fundamentally experiments in texture and color, creating a series of canvases teeming with tactile and visual surprises: the paint’s materiality, thickly layered, gives a sense of volumetric distinction to these objects as well as tonal complexities that reveal themselves the more you look at them.
Ismail Fayed, on Remnants of Enchantment
Mada Masr, April 2017
List of Art Exhibitions
2020 "Free Davestation" -- solo exhibition, Gallery Misr, Cairo
2020 "Passive Constructions" -- solo exhibition, Gallery Misr, Cairo
2019 "As I am" -- Group Show -- Gallery Misr, Cairo
2019 Changeable Summer Collection, Easel and Camera Contemporary Art Gallery
2019 "Myths and Magic" --Group Art Gallery-- Founoun Art Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
2018 11th Luxor International Painting Symposium , Luxor, Egypt
2018 Beirut Art Fair
2018 "Octagon" --Group show-- Gallery Misr, Zamalek
2017 "Paper Trail" -- Group show --Gypsum Gallery
2017 "Remnants of Enchantment" -- Gypsum Gallery
2016 Dai Gallery opening exhibition
2015 National Exhibition, 37th Edition, Palace of Art
2015 "Pink and Lamentation" –solo exhibition– Gallery Misr, Zamalek
2014 Silver Jubilee Exhibition of Youth Salon, Palace of Art
2011 Featured Artists, Artspace Gallery, Dubai
2010 Human Body Exhibition, Palace of Art
2010 National Exhibition, 33rd Edition, Palace of Art
2010 "Intuited Happiness" –solo exhibition
Karim Francis Contemporary Art Gallery, Downtown
2009 "Faces" exhibition - Horizon Gallery 1, Mahmoud Khalil Museum
2008 National Exhibition, 31 Edition, Museum of Modern Egyptian Art
2007 "Occidentalism" exhibition -nineteen artists from Egypt - Swiss Hotel, Downtown Cairo
2007 "Untitled Portraits" exhibition, XVA Gallery Dubai
2005 National Exhibition, 29th Edition, Palace of Art
2005 "Out of Vacuum –solo exhibition– Karim Francis Contemporary Art Gallery, Zamalek
2003 "90's Generation" exhibition, Gezira Center of Arts, Zamalek
2000: 2003 - Autumn Salon for Miniature Works, Gezira Center of Arts, Zamalek
1999 18 visions from "90s Generation" exhibition, Gezira Center of Arts, Zamalek
1998 Exhibition of Blue Color Knights - Picasso Art Gallery Zamalek