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Basim Magdy is 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 Biennial in 2014. Currently, he is prominently represented in the highly regarded show "Surround Audience: New Museum Triennial 2015" in New York and the exhibition "Lest The Two Seas Meet" at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw.
The award "Artist of the Year" goes to contemporary artists who have created a substantial body of work, and in which works on paper and/or photography play a role. The award focuses on artistic positions that deal with social themes in an individual way and take new formal paths. At the same time, the award honors impetus emanating from new art centers of Africa, Asia, South America and Eastern Europe. It is not a purely financial award, but firmly embedded in Deutsche Bank’s art program. It supports new positions and promotes the acquisition of works for the corporate collection. The highlight is the "Artist of the Year" solo exhibition at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle, which is accompanied by a major catalogue. Subsequently, the show travels on to other international venues. The artist is also invited to design a special edition for the KunstHalle. Artists are chosen within the framework of the Global Art Advisory Council, which is comprised of renowned curators such as Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann and Victoria Noorthoorn.