PAINTER ON A STUDY TRIP
1 April – 6 May 2014
Gypsum Gallery, Cairo
"Gypsum Gallery is thrilled to present a pivotal solo show of works by Alexandria-based Mahmoud Khaled. Spanning photography, sculpture, painting, text, video and installation. Painter on a Study Trip was sparked by an encounter with an eponymous 19th Century oil on canvas painting in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Alexandria. The painting triggered a chain of reflections on the artist’s own classical training as a painter at the Academy of Fine Arts in Alexandria and its complicated relationship to the language and values of contemporary art.
Khaled compiled a concise lexicon of six key terms that recur in art history books to define art practice. Process, material, detail, source, exercise and composition form the basis for six new works that propose formal, poetic and associative interpretations of each term. The series, for which the gallery space is radically transformed, is presented from the perspective of a semi-fictitious student/artist on a field trip to Antoniades Gardens, a landmark Alexandrian garden modeled as a miniature version of Versailles Palace, and used as a standard location for outdoor assignments at the art academies.
The show includes an earlier work by Khaled entitled Memorial to Failure (2013) comprised of a video and a sculpture. The work is based on an actual studio visit between the artist and the renowned Italian thinker Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi conducted while Khaled was completing a one-year study program at the Home Workspace (HWP) in Beirut in 2012. At once minimal and poetic, Painter on a Study Trip mixes autobiography and research to form a pensive and precise multi-layered show."