Nagdi, Omar el- (1931--) By Dwider, Sarah
Omar el-Nagdi began his art education at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Cairo and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in 1953. He received a second bachelor’s degree in 1957 from the Faculty of Applied Arts in Cairo. In addition to his studies in Egypt, El-Nagdi studied abroad in Russia, Italy and Holland. Beginning in 1957, El-Nagdi served as an instructor at the Faculty of Applied Arts in Cairo. Omar el-Nagdi’s early works were primarily figural paintings inspired by Egyptian folk traditions. In the 1960s, he shifted to full abstraction and the calligraphic Arabic letters became a prominent theme in his work. El-Nagdi also created a running series of sculptural works that translated the angular figures from his early paintings into three-dimensional forms.