Painter on a Study Trip II
An encounter with an eponymous nineteenth century oil on canvas painting in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts in Alexandria triggered a chain of reflections on the artist's classical training as a painter at the Academy of Fine Arts in Alexandria and the institution's complicated relationship to the language and values of contemporary art. Mahmoud Khaled proceeded to compile a concise lexicon of six terms that recur in art history books to define art practice. Process, material, detail, source, exercise and composition form the basis for six works that propose formal, poetic and associative interpretations of each term. Mixing autobiography and research, the series is presented from the perspective of a semi-fictitious student/artist on a field trip to Antoniades Gardens, a landmark Alexandrian garden modeled as a miniature version of Versailles Palace, and used as a standard location for outdoor assignments at the art academies.