Egyptian artist Huda Lutfi’s Al-Sitt and her Sunglasses (2008), a work featuring Um Kalthoum, is one of the 100 pieces on view in the latest exhibition entitled ‘Reflections: Modern Art of the Middle East and North Africa’ showing at the British Museum. The exhibition runs from the 11th of February to the 15th of August, 2021.
Al-Sitt (The Lady) is one of several works displayed in the exhibition, along with art pieces from creators born in or related to countries from Iran to Morocco, representing over a decade of collecting contemporary art from the Middle East and North Africa. The work is a collage with the legendary Egyptian artist’s trademark sunglasses, known as Al-Sitt (The Lady), and lyrics of the song Al-Atlal (The Ruins).
“Reflections highlights issues of gender, identity, faith, politics, and memory. Also communicated within the exhibition, are ideas about poetry, music, and war. The artists, whether living in the countries of their birth or in diaspora, belong within the globalised world of art, and many allude to the artistic or literary heritage with which they are associated,” reads a press release by the British Museum.
Lutfi was born in Cairo, 1948, Egypt. She received a PhD from McGill University, Montreal, in Arab Muslim Cultural History in l983, and has been a professional artist since the 1990s. The renowned artist produces works of collage, drawing, photography, and film art installations that also investigate the historical myths of the Pharaonic, Coptic, Islamic, Arab, and African cultural fabric of Egypt. Her job responds to the complexities of modern culture at all periods.
It’s a given that her work has been widely viewed in Egypt, but it’s also been included in international galleries in the UAE, the USA, Austria, Singapore, and Germany.