Untitled (El Sokareya)

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Untitled (El Sokareya)

Edition: AP of edition 3 + 1 AP
a) 86 × 47 × 1 1/2 in. (218.44 × 119.38 × 3.81 cm) b) 86 × 47 × 1 1/2 in. (218.44 × 119.38 × 3.81 cm) c) 50 × 23 × 1 1/2 in. (127 × 58.42 × 3.81 cm) d) 50 × 23 × 1 1/2 in. (127 × 58.42 × 3.81 cm) e) 45 × 14 × 1 1/2 in. (114.3 × 35.56 × 3.81 cm)
Gift of the artist (M.2016.222a-e)
Not currently on public view

Curator Notes

Sherin Guirguis roots her abstract and geometric work in literature and historical accounts, drawing inspiration for the compositions, patterns, materials and colors from the texts themselves. Inspired by the Egyptian novelist and Nobel Prize winner Naguib Mahfouz’s Cairo Trilogy, this work by Guirguis is named for and based on the final novel in the series, El Sokareya (Sugar Street). The trilogy traces the history of a single family across several generations, paralleled by the formation of the modern Egyptian state in the early twentieth century. The pierced plywood of Untitled (El Sokareya) derives its form from a mashrabiya, the traditional wood window screen found in the homes of old Cairo, subtly recalling the urban setting of Mahfouz’s epic tale.
Born in Luxor, Egypt, Guirguis studied in the United States and is today based in Los Angeles. Blending traditional Islamic art with her contemporary art training, Guirguis’s work explores the tensions between the past and present, East and West. She has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in the United States, United Arab Emirates, and United Kingdom, as well as participated in numerous group exhibitions including in La Biennale di Venezia, Italy in 2015.


  • Komaroff, Linda. "Islamic Art Now and Then." In Islamic Art: Past, Present, Future, edited by Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom, 26-56. New Haven, New York, and London: Yale University Press, 2019.