Mariam Aziza Stephan in Cairo

Mariam Aziza Stephan, Rising Tide, 2014, oil on canvas (courtesy of the artist)
Mariam Aziza Stephan, Rising Tide, 2014, oil on canvas (courtesy of the artist)

Sharon Butler blogs about the paintings of Mariam Aziza Stephan, whose show Undercurrents is on view at The Gezira Art Center, Cairo, Egypt, through January 12, 2016.

Butler writes that in Stephan's paintings: "Multiple forms are situated in the same space, and different points in time are revealed at once. At first glance the paintings appear dystopic--dark, mysterious, inaccessible--but on closer viewing they are less foreboding. The more you look, the more you see. Subtle colors come forward, and as new edges and shapes begin to emerge, the scenes change. Rich with allusion and symbolism, hence with ambiguity, Stephan's paintings are seductive and ultimately hopeful. In the face of disintegration and complexity, she bets on rebirth and renewal."