• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7665

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 April 2008, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 68

    Omar El-Nagdi (Egyptian, b. 1931)

    The One

    Price Realised  


    Omar El-Nagdi (Egyptian, b. 1931)
    The One
    signed and dated 'OMAR EL NAGDI 1960' and signed in Arabic (top right)
    oil on canvas
    60 x 59¼in. (152.5 x 150.5cm.)
    Painted in 1960

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    The work of Omar El-Nagdi from the 1960s and 1970s was based on the forms of Arabic calligraphy. The present painting is a composition formed entirely by the repetition of the Arabic numeral one , which is indistinguishable in appearance from the Arabic letter alef, the first letter in the alphabet. In Islamic traditions the "One" symbolises the indivisible nature of the Divine, and Nagdi's countless repetition of the same character within this composition visually emphasises this concept.