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Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (Egyptian, 1925-1965)
Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (Egyptian, 1925-1965)

A Body Falling From The Sky

Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar (Egyptian, 1925-1965) A Body Falling From The Sky signed and dated 'ELGAZZAR 64' (lower right) pen, watercolour and gouache on cardboard 24 3/8 x 27 1/8in. (62 x 69cm.) Executed in 1964
Sobhy Al-Sharouny, A Museum in a Book: The Farsi Art Collection "The Egyptian Works" Owned by Dr. Mohammed Said Farsi, Cairo, 1998 (illustrated in colour, p.299 and illustrated p.283 ref 2/38).
Sobhy Al-Sharouny, Abdel Hadi Al-Gazzar, Cairo, 2007 (illustrated in colour, p.97).

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Lot Essay

In his Space Period El-Gazzar imagines outer space in the same way that Jules Verne imagined life below the sea in the age of the sailing boat. Space travel was in its infancy- Yuri Gagarin's short spaceflight having taken place just a few years previous in 1961.
El-Gazzar found the idea both fascinating and terrifying- fascination was the only possible response to the technological advances themselves, and at the same time terror of these were forces beyond the the control of man. This and the following lot amply illustrate this tension. In Body Falling From The Skies we are confronted by an enormous device looking like a spacecraft straight from a science fiction story, which hovers over the city, dwarfing its buildings and inhabitants. In this apocalyptic scene this huge device sends out beams laying waste to the city and causing devastation.
This brutality of the subject matter constrasts starkly with El-Gazzar's beautifully-rendered minute detail which covers the surface of the picture, a demonstration the artist's skill and the breadth of invention.

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