Born in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1930, Ahmed Morsi is a multitalented artist who seamlessly moves between different genres and modes of creative expression. A brilliant painter, an eloquent poet, and a sharp art and literary critic whose career has spanned more than seven decades, his work has been enriched by the experience of living in three continents. While Morsi’s oeuvre is the embodiment of polyphony, a unifying force that defies any singular reading is the surrealist spirit that permeates his work across different mediums. The retrospective Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination, held at the Sharjah Art Museum in 2017, captured the artist’s restless artistic spirit with a display of the intertextuality and multiplicity of voices through which Morsi expresses his creative talent and endless experimentation. This article references the Sharjah show and offers a survey of Morsi’s career, accompanied by a select number of images of his oeuvre from his early days in his native Alexandria to his sojourns in Baghdad and Cairo, and his current practice in New York City, where he has been living since 1974. It also offers a glimpse, in image and in text, of his diverse corpus of literary works, theater set designs, book covers, as well as rare photographs. In tandem with the Sharjah exhibition and the soon-to-be-published catalogue, the author offers a historical assessment and critical appraisal of Morsi’s accomplishments that will enable readers to appreciate the artist’s remarkable endeavors and experimentations over more than six decades of commitment to creativity in art and literature.
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Research Article| November 01 2020
Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination
Salah M. Hassan
Salah M. Hassan
Salah M. Hassan is the Goldwin Smith Professor and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernitie, and professor of African and African diaspora art history and visual culture at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. He is currently serving as director of the Africa Institute, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.
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Nka (2020) 2020 (47): 22–43.
Salah M. Hassan; Ahmed Morsi: A Dialogic Imagination. Nka 1 November 2020; 2020 (47): 22–43. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10757163-8719616
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