Basim Magdy: The Stars Were Aligned for a Century of New Beginnings

Portrait Basim Magdy by Deirdre O'Leary. Copyright Basim Magdy.

Basim Magdy is named Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” 2016 and will present his first institutional solo exhibition at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin next spring.

The artist, who was born in 1977 in Assiut, Egypt, and now lives in Basel and Cairo, has created a multifaceted oeuvre in recent years encompassing film, photography, slide projections, installations, and works on paper. At the center of all of his works are structures of seeing, remembering, and archiving.

Many of Basim Magdy’s works, which are based on observations of reality, are akin to surreal tales full of cryptic humor. With paintings and assemblies boasting psychedelic-looking colors, the artist investigates collective utopias and formulates his doubts in dogmas and ideologies. At the same time, he appeals to the viewer’s imagination and reveals alternative realities and social blueprints. “Maybe I’m more interested in issues that are not particularly pleasant,” he says about his artistic production, “but I have to say that my favourite reaction to the work I make is when people look at it and smile or laugh.”

Basim Magdy has participated in numerous international group exhibitions, including the Sharjah and Istanbul Biennials in 2013 and La Biennale de Montreal and MEDIACITY Seoul Biennale in 2014. Currently, he was prominently represented in the highly regarded show “Surround Audience: New Museum Triennial 2015” in New York and the exhibition “STADT/BILD (Image of a City) – Welcome to the Jungle” at the KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin and is currently on view at “Ocean of Images: New Photography 2015” at the MoMA, New York.

29 Apr 20163 Jul 2016

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