Fathi Hassan

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Fathi Hassan
فتحي حسن
Fathi Hassan cropped.jpg
Born(1957-05-10)10 May 1957[1]
NationalityEgyptian, Italian
EducationAccademia di Belle Arti di Napoli (1984)[2]
Known forPainting, sculpture, installation art

Fathi Hassan (Arabic: فتحي حسن‎) (born 10 May 1957) is an Egyptian artist known for his installations involving the written word. He lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland and Fano, Italy.[3]


Hassan was born in Cairo in 1957 as the second son to a Nubian family.[2][1] His father Hassan was Sudanese and his mother Fatma was from Toshka in southern Egypt.[2] He studied art as a teenager at Cairo's Kerabia Middle School where he was taught by the sculptor Ghaleb Khater.,[2][3]


In 1976, Hassan worked for some months in a library Madbuli in Cairo.The Ministry offered him a job and he moved to Baghdad in 1977.

In 1979, he received a grant from the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo and moved to Italy.[2][3][1] He enrolled at the Accademia di Belle Arti of Naples in 1980 to study set design having found that the painting course was full.[1] He graduated in 1984 with a thesis on the influence of African art in Cubism.[1] While he was studying and in the year after graduating, Hassan also worked as an actor and set designer at RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana works) in Naples and Rome .[1] In 1986, he moved to Pesaro.[1]

Hassan is one of the artists of the African Diaspora. Hassan received recognition from the Ministry of Culture (Egypt) in 1989, and he was the first artist to be selected to represent Africa at the "Aperto '88" section of the Venice Biennale. Chosen by Dan Cameron, Giovanni Crandant. He has exhibited in numerous galleries in Italy, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, France, Egypt, and United States.,[4] International TV "UNINETTUNO" telematic university, presents, transmission on the theme "inside L, soul".

Hassan's work often emphasizes power relations and the relationship between the oral and written word; drawing upon his Nubian heritage and installations, he places particular emphasis on the loss of language under the dominance of empire. Most of his scripts are based upon kufic calligraphy, but remain deliberately illegible and impossible to decipher. In his video Blessed Nubia the original language of the Egyptian region Nubia was analyzed.[5]

Hassan has lived and worked in Italy since graduating in 1984, dividing his time between Rome, Milan and Fano.[3][6][7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Goncharov, Kathleen. "Biografia e lavori di Fathi Hassan, Akkij" (in Italian and Arabic). Fathi Hassan. Archived from the original on 2 May 2009. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Hassan, Fathi (2006). "Fathi Hassan". Fathi Hassan. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 18 October 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d Exhibitions. Leighton House Museum; The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. Archived 29 November 2010.
  4. ^ teranet.it, TeraNet Srl,. "Biography - Fathi Hassan - Artists and Works - ARTantide.com". www.artantide.com. Retrieved 2018-02-28.
  5. ^ Oversea, art from mediterranean
  6. ^ Kathleen Goncharov (2007). Fathi Hassan: Cultural Nomad. In: Micaela Nardi (editor) (2007). Fathi Hassan: Safir (exhibition catalogue). Senigallia: Ed. Della Rovere. Archived 2 April 2009.
  7. ^ "Textures: Word and Symbol in Contemporary African Art – Fathi Hassan". National Museum of African Art. Retrieved 19 October 2010.
  • Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy, Hassan Fathy: The Unacknowledged Conscience Of Twentieth Century Architecture. A paper published in the International Journal of Basic & Applied Sciences IJBAS-IJENS Vol:10 Issue: 02, 10 April 2010.
  • Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy, Hassan Fathy: The Power of Belief. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, 2017.
  • Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy, Hassan Fathy: The Language of Traditional Architecture. Lambert Academic Publishing, Germany, 2017.

Further reading[edit]

  • Eriberto Eulisse (2001). Images of Writing, Writing of Images: The Work of Fathi Hassan. Nka Journal of Contemporary African Art. Fall/Winter 2001 (15): 30-37. doi:10.1215/10757163-15-1-30
  • Achille Bonito Oliva (2000). Fathi Hassan (exhibition catalogue). Milan: Charta. ISBN 9788881582846.
  • Mary Angela Schroth, Sandra Federici, Andrea Marchesini Reggiani (2000). TransAfricana: artisti contemporanei: Bologna, 15 gennaio–24 febbraio 2000: San Giorgio in Poggiale, Collezioni d'arte e di storia della Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Bologna (exhibition catalogue). Bologna: Lai-momo. Pages 47–49, 72–73. (full record)
  • Roberto Bencivenga (2002). Fathi Hassan: la sostanza dell'anima = Spirit Matter (exhibition catalogue). Senigallia: Ed. Della Rovere. (no ISBN?).