Dalloul Art Foundation

Dalloul Art Foundation

ANNA BOGHIGUIAN ANNA BOGHIGUIAN

ANNA BOGHIGUIAN, Egypt (1946)

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Bio

Written by Arthur Debsi

Born in 1946 in Cairo to an Armenian family, Anna Boghiguian was raised in the city of Heliopolis, northeast of the capital city; renowned for its inhabitants from the upper class, and communities of foreigners. First, the young girl went to the Armenian Nubarian School, where she attended drawing lessons, given by the Armenian painter Onnig Avedissian (1898-1974). In 1958, she enrolled in the American College for Girls, and finally, continued her education at the American University of Cairo, between 1964 and 1969. There, she studied political science, and showed a particular interest in the works of some German philosophers such as Georg Hegel (1770-1831), and Karl Marx (1818-1883)[1]. In the early 1970s, Boghiguian immigrated to Montreal, Canada, and completed her training in art and music, at Concordia University[2]. She permanently came back to Egypt in 1995.

When she was twenty years old, Anna Boghiguian took to traveling the world, discovering many countries such as the United States, India, Cuba, and Nepal. She would never leave without notebooks and sketchbooks, which became the real memories of what she contemplated. Much of her art was produced in her diaries in which she combined her drawings with her poetry, texts, and collected photographs. These trips enriched herself as well as her passion for literature, and poetry: she read authors including Albert Camus (1913-1960), Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881), and Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941)[3]. These travel adventures opened her to the world, to the cultures, and the local customs, being a source of inspiration for her artistic and written work – she is the author of some books like Anna’s Egypt, An Artist Journey, published in 2003. She depicts the cities that she visited and its people, highlighting the notion of migrations, and exile, though the motifs of the train, the river, or the desert. This gave her the reputation of a nomad artist[4].

The frenzy and the activity of Cairo has always capitated Anna Boghiguian. In the 1960s, the artist used to record sounds of the city, and composed music with them. Then, she would adapt these sounds into a painted work.

During her stay in Montreal until the late 1980s, Anna Boghiguian developed several techniques of creation, by using collages of pictures that she would take from newspapers, magazines, and advertisements. She also used butcher’s paper, and recycled cardboard as supports for her works. In parallel, she produced natural installations such as gardens, and beehives, to tackle the transformation of the world, notably the ecological turmoil. With an experimental artistic language, she highlights some other issues of today’s world, for example international conflicts, colonialism, and global trade. She particularly explores another important theme, which is the human condition. Throughout her career, she has come to understand that their political, social, and religious environments effectively condition individuals[5]. A conditioning limited by the borders, that Boghiguian aims to abolish. In the work entitled Once Alive We Prayed for Freedom for Life (2014), part of the Dalloul Art Foundation’s collection, the painter depicted an imaginary scene to discuss the vast topic of freedom that concerns the whole of humanity. In a dense composition, she applied saturated colors, and chosed abstracted forms, and simple lines, to draw elements that are oddly associated with each other. Indeed, she combined scissors, a bird, and strange insects, surrounding the central and intimidating figure, and integrated some scripts all around the canvas. The artist is known for this surrealistic treatment in which she mixes different means of artistic expression, and consequently creates complex narrative works like ‘tablelike drawings’[6]. It seems that she wrote what came to her mind while she was painting, as if she revealed herself.

In this example, she illustrated an intriguing element that she often uses in her art: the ear. As a matter of fact, Anna Boghiguian is interested in the forms of this body part that is able to hear anything like music, speeches, or screams. In a way, she recalled with emotions her own experience, when she heard stories from people, or the noise from the cities – while traveling, she sound recorded moments that she lived –, and suggested that the ear is a strong tool for the collective memory. This collective memory results from historical references and geographic spaces from the past, that the painter wants to link with the present.

Anna Boghiguian lives and works in Cairo.

[1] Boghiguian, Anna, Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn, Vecellio, Marianna, and Al-Qasimi, Hoor. Anna Boghiguian. Milano, Italy: Skira editore, 2017. [P.165]

[2] Boghiguian, Anna, Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn, Vecellio, Marianna, and Al-Qasimi, Hoor. Anna Boghiguian. Milano, Italy: Skira editore, 2017. [P.52]

[3] ‘Biography’ in Boghiguian, Anna, Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn, Vecellio, Marianna, and Al-Qasimi, Hoor. Anna Boghiguian. Milano, Italy: Skira editore, 2017. [P.165]

[4] Karnouk, Liliane. Modern Egyptian Art, 1920-2003. Cairo, New York, The American University in Cairo Press, 2005. [P.238]

[5] “Anna Boghiguian, Promenade Dans L'Inconscient.” Carré d'Art. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.carreartmusee.com/fr/expositions/anna-boghiguian-118.

[6] “Anna Boghiguian: The Loom of History.” Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.newmuseum.org/exhi....

Sources

Boghiguian, Anna, Christov-Bakargiev, Carolyn, Vecellio, Marianna, and Al-Qasimi, Hoor. Anna Boghiguian. Milano, Italy: Skira editore, 2017.

Karnouk, Liliane. Modern Egyptian Art, 1920-2003. Cairo, New York, The American University in Cairo Press, 2005.

Shapazian, Robert. “A Conversation with Anna Boghiguian.” Bidoun, October 1, 2006. https://www.bidoun.org/articles/anna-boghiguian-and-robert-shapazian.

Sutton, Benjamin. “A Nomadic Artist's Journey Through the Ancient History of a French City.” Hyperallergic, February 10, 2017. https://hyperallergic.com/357023/a-nomadic-artists-journey-through-the-ancient-history-of-a-french-city/.

“Anna Boghiguian, A Walk In The Unconscious.” Accessed May 27, 2020. http://carreartmusee.com/en/exhibitions/anna-boghiguian-118.

“Anna Boghiguian – Exhibition Guide.” Tate. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-... 

"Anna Boghiguian, Promenade Dans L'Inconscient.” Carré d'Art. Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.carreartmusee.com/...

"Anna Boghiguian: The Loom of History.” Accessed May 29, 2020. https://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/anna-boghiguian-the-loom-of-history.

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CV

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2020

Anna Boghiguian | A Short Long History, SMAK, Belgium

2019

Anna Boghiguian, Retrospective Exhibition, Tate Modern, London, UK
Anna Boghiguian: Le Carré, La Ligne et La Règle, Beaux-Arts de Paris, Paris, France
Anna Boghiguian, Artes Mundi, Wales, UK
Anna Boghiguian: Conversations on Limits and Unlimits, Mendes Wood DM Gallery, Sao Paolo, Brazil    

2018

The Loom of History, New Museum, New York, US
Anna Boghiguian, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
Anna Boghiguian, Retrospective Exhibition, Sharjah’s Art Square, Sharjah, UAE

2017

Anna Boghiguian. The Artist’s Studio, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporeano, Rivoli, Italy
Woven Winds, INDEX, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
Anna Boghiguian, Retrospective exhibition, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte, Torino, Italy

2016

A Walk in the Unconscious, Carré d’Art, Nimes, France

2015

Cities by the Rivers, SBC Gallery of Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada

2013

Anna Boghiguian. Unstructured Diary for an Autobiography, Daad Galerie, Berlin, Germany
ZYX-XYZ an autobiography- odd times in life, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

2011

A Poet on the Edges of History, Galerie Gitti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, Germany

2010

A Voyage Throught Cavafy’s Alexandria-Watercolors by Anna Boghiguian, Benaki Museum of Islamic Art, Athens, Greece
Anna Boghiguian, Gardens of Egypt, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2009

Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2008

Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2007

Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2006

Péres, Kasr el Basha and Centre Culturel Français, Gaza, PLE & CCF of Amman, Jordan
Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2005

Alexandria, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2004

Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2003

Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2001

Anna Boghiguian, Alexandria, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
Sacred Rivers: Anna Boghiguian, The American University in Cairo, Cairo, Egypt

2000

Anna Boghiguian, Safar Khan Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1996

Drawings and Paintings on Constantine Cavafy, Espace Karim Francis, Cairo, Egypt
Constantine Cavafy, Cavafy House, Alexandria, Egypt    

1995

Mémoires d’un Voyageur, Espace Karim Francis, Cairo, Egypt

1993

From Wax Images to Indian Tales, Berlin Art Gallery, Cairo, Egypt; Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1992

Anna Boghiguian, Recent Works, Cairo Atelier, Cairo, Egypt
Anna Boghiguian, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1991

Anna Boghiguian, Dare-Dare, Montreal, Canada

1990

ZYX-XYZ, Dessins par Anna Boghiguian, Dare-Dare, Montreal, Canada

1989

Cities, Atelier du Caire, Cairo, Egypt

1988

Anna Boghiguian, Peintures, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1987

Anna Boghiguian, Trains, Ragab Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

1986

ZYX-XYZ, Galerie Forum, Athens, Greece
Anna Boghiguian, Atelier du Caire, Cairo, Egypt

1985

Anna Boghiguian, Armenian Artistic Club, Cairo, Egypt

1984

Anna Boghiguian, Atelier du Caire, Cairo, Egypt

1983

Anna Boghiguian, Atelier du Caire, Cairo, Egypt

Selected Group Exhibitions

2020

Nirin, 22nd Sydney Biennial, Sydney, Australia
James Richards: Alms for the Birds, Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporeano, Rivoli, Italy
Manifesta 13, Marseille, France

2019

Could Be (An Arrow): A Reading Of La Colección Jumex, Fondacion Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico
A la plume, au pinceau, au crayon: dessins du monde arabe, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
3rd Anazero Biennial, Coimbra, Portugal

2017

The Restless Earth, La Triennale di Milano, Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, Milano, Italy
Unfinished Conversations: New Work from the Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, US

2016

THE UNFAITHFUL REPLICA, Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid, Spain
Site Santa Fe International Biennial, Santa Fe, US

2015

Positions #2, Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
56th Venice Biennial, Armenian Pavilion, Venice, Italy
Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey
Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE
Gallery 3010, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Armenien Pavillon 56, Espazione Internazionale d’Arte, Venice, Italy
How to (talk about) things that don’t exist- an exhibition developed out of the 31st Sao Paolo Biennale, Fundacao de Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporanea, Porto, Portugal

2014

Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York, US
31st Biennial de São Paulo, Brazil
1st International Biennial of Contemporary Art, Cartagena, Columbia
Tagore’s Post Office, nGbK, Berlin, Germany
Anna Boghiguian and Taysir Batniji, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

2013

Anna Boghiguian & Goshka Macuga: Tagore’s Universal Allegories, INIVA, London, UK
Society for Contemporary Art: Acquisition Finalists 2013, The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, US
Cross-Border, Künstlerinnen der Gegenwart aus dem arabischen Mittelmeerraum
ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany

2012

dOCUMENTA (13), Kassel, Germany

2011

Plot for a Biennale, 2011 Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE

2010

EL ELE, Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey
Self-Consciousness, Veneklasen/Werner, Berlin, Germany
What Happens When The Cheese Is Gone? Works from the 11th International Istanbul Biennale, Fondazione Puglisi Cosentino, Palazza Valle, Catania, Italy

2009

What Keeps Mankind Alive? 11th International Istanbul Biennale, Istanbul, Turkey
Hand in Hand, Rodeo Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey

2008

In the Middle of the Middle, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon

2007

Heterotopias Biennale I. Biennale of Thessaloniki, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki, Greece

2003

Contemporary Arab Representation, Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Fundacio Antoni Tapies, Barcelona, Centro José Guerrero de la Diputacion de Granada, Granada, Spain; Bildmuseet Umea, Sweden

2002

Drawings. Straight from the artist’s studio, Falaki Gallery, Cairo, Egypt

2001

L’Art du Livre Arabe du Manuscrit ou Livre d’Artiste, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, Paris, France

1997

Constantine Cavafy, Galerie Athanor, Marseille, France

1994

Festival des Allumées, Nantes, France
Four Painters, Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto, Canada

1992

Paintings & Art Works Exhibition, Armenian Artistic Club, Cairo, Egypt

Awards

2015

Golden Lion for best national participation, 56th Venice Biennial, Venice, Italy

Collections

Neue Galerie Kassel, Germany
Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, UAE
Kadist Art Foundation, Paris, France
Musée Carré d'Art, Nîmes, France
Castello di Rivoli, Museo d’Arte Contemporeano, Rivoli, Italy
Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
Tate Modern, London, UK
New Museum, New York, US
Museum of Modern Art, New York, US
Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, US
University of Chicago,Chicago, US
Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece
Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, The Netherlands
INIVIA, Institute of International Visual Arts, London, UK
Fundacion Jumex, Mexico City, Mexico
INDEX, The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation, Stockholm, Sweden
National Museum of Wales, Wales, UK
Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, Austria
Frac des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France

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Press

Le nomadisme et le besoin de raconter d’Anna Boghiguian
Marie­Ève Charron
Le Devoir, French, 2015
A Conversation with Anna Boghiguian
Robert Shapazian
Bidoun, English, 2016
Every picture tells a story for narrative artists Paul Morstad, Anna Boghiguian
John Pohl
Montreal Gazette, English, 2015
Chasing Ghosts Through Bathhouses and Cisterns at the 14th Istanbul Biennial
Nat Muller
Hyperallergic, English, 2015
Manifesta 13’s Artists by Gender, Race, and Nationality
Daria Harper
English, 2020
INTERVIEW: Anna Boghiguian and Karen Mackinnon @ Artes Mundi
Jake Francis
The Verse, 2018
ANNA BOGHIGUIAN
Artes Mundi
Artes Mundi 8 review – engrossing works blunted by limp liberal agenda
Jonathan Jones
The Guardian, English, 2018
Anna Boghiguian, interview, Artes Mundi 8
VERONICA SIMPSON
Studio International, English, 2018
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Videos

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Exhibitions

ANNA BOGHIGUIAN Artwork

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