MONA MARZOUK’s interest in architectural histories is visible in many of her works – in painting, sculpture as well as site-specific murals and paintings. Blurring the boundary between past and present day, man-made and natural, biomorphic and geometrical, personal and political, beautiful and ugly, and masculine and feminine, Marzouk redefines how we see the world.
With the sensibility of a maverick architect, Marzouk envisions aesthetic systems that draw on a diversity of cultural traditions but which can only exist in the realm of the imagination. Her early paintings and sculptures reassemble disparate architectural elements from history as well as animal and body parts to construct unified compositions. Castles and cathedrals, crenellations and crustaceans merge together in fluid form. Her compositions, which often float in the center of a frame, reference post-minimalism, with their hard edges and flat expanses of solid color.
Her later works take on a more menacing and aggressive quality. Strong saturated colors and the introduction of black replace a pale bi-chromatic palette. Through imaginative studies of objects such as flags and helmets, Marzouk tackles politically loaded themes such as war, sports, nationhood, space technology and oil industry and how they habitually manifest themselves in our daily life. With a whimsical touch, her work pulls us into a futuristic, mythological universe compelling us to forge unexpected relationships between what is otherwise familiar or ordinary.
MONA MARZOUK was born in Alexandria, Egypt and recently moved to Helsinki, Finland. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Düsseldorf, Germany graduating in 1996. Selected solo exhibitions include “RENEWAL”, Villa Romana, Florence, Italy, 2015; “Trayvon”, Gypsum Gallery, Cairo, 2014; “The Bride Stripped Bare of Her Energy's Evil”, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, UK, 2008; “The New World”, Art in General, New York and Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, 2006; “The Morphologist & the Architect”, Falaki Gallery, the American University Cairo, 2004; “Majestic Ciphers”, Marco Noire Contemporary Art,Turin, Italy, 2002. Selected group exhibitions include “Very Sustainable--Environmental Revelation”,MOCA, Museum of Contemporary Art Yinchuan, China, 2017; “Terra Mediterranea in Action”, NiMAC, Nicosia, Cyprus, 2017; “Terra Mediterranea in Action”, HALLE 14 – Centre for Contemporary Art, Leipzig, Germany, 2016; “What are you doing, object?”, Gypsum Gallery, Cairo, 2015; EVA International – Ireland’s Biennial, Limerick, 2014; The 11th Havana Biennial, Cuba, 2012; “Second World” Steirischer Herbst, Graz, Austria and Galerija Nova, Zagreb, Croatia, 2011; 1st Festival of Contemporary Art in Algiers, Algiers, 2009; 7th Gwangju Biennial, South Korea, 2008; 1st Canary Islands Biennial, Spain, 2006; “Trial Balloons” MUSAC, León, Spain, 2006; “An Image Bank for Everyday Revolutionary Life”, REDCAT Gallery Los Angeles, USA, 2006; “Out of Space” Gallery Sfeir-Semler, Beirut, Lebanon 2006; Progr, Zentrum fur Kulturproduktion,Bern, Switzerland, 2005; “Il periplo creativo”, Museo dell'Accademia Ligustica di Belle Arti, Genova, Italy, 2004; “Transferts”, Palais des Beaux-Arts de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium, 2003; “Mediterranean”, Culturgest, Lisbon, Portugal, 2001.