Gazbia Sirry

  • Born 1925 in Cairo, Egypt

Over a wide-ranging and prolific career, Gazbia Sirry has painted strong Egyptian women. She graduated from Cairo’s Higher Institute for Arts Education for Women in 1949 and completed further studies in Rome, Paris, and London. In her painting she sought to blend the traditions of Egypt with European modernism. Politically, she was influenced by the socialist politics of President Gamal Abdel Nasser and the Egyptian Revolution of 1952. Sirry continuously innovated and experimented in her artistic style. Her early work resembled naïve illustration, evolving into Expressionism with thick, forceful applications of paint, and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War of 1967, Sirry’s former realism became abstraction. Also in 1967, Sirry’s work was exhibited at the Brenken Gallery in Stockholm, leading to international recognition. She was an active contributor to Cairo’s Contemporary Art Group. Sirry was a professor in the painting department of Jamieat Hulwan (Helwan University) and the American University in Cairo. She received the Prix de Rome for painting in 1952. Among other exhibitions, Sirry has shown in four editions of the Venice Biennale (1952; 1956; 1958; 1984), two editions of the Bienal de São Paulo (1952; 1963) and three Alexandria Bienniales (1959; 1961; 1963).

Artworks by Gazbia Sirry in the exhibition