Through his sculptures and paintings, Adam Henein seeks the essence of form, drawing on a rich visual legacy in pharaonic art as well as contemporary aesthetic visions and preoccupations. Produced with materials such as granite, bronze, gypsum, limestone and ceramics, his sculptures embody both the sense of a reduced edifice and the concept of eternity. His paintings, containing both diagnostic and abstract geometric shapes, are characterised by a clarity of shape and heat of colour enhanced by a sculptural depth.
In the 1990s, Henein created large-scale, open-air sculptures, including The Ship, which was designed as a metaphor for museum space. Between 1989 and 1998, he worked with the Ministry of Culture in the restoration of the Great Sphinx of Giza. As a painter, he revived old techniques such as painting on papyrus with natural dyes, which he mixed with Arabic gum or traditional gypsum. In 1960, he used India ink to paint illustrations for the poetry book The Quatrains of Salah Jahin by his late friend Salah Jahin (1930–1986).
In 1996, Henein founded Aswan International Sculpture Symposium. It is an annual forum and exhibition that hosts sculptors from around the world to experiment and produce local granite sculptures. In 2014, he established a museum for his works on the land of his villa in the village of Harrania, Giza Governorate. This museum has become an important site for sculptors from all over the world.
Henein received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Sculpting from the School of Fine Arts, Cairo, in 1953. After graduation, he spent several months at the Luxor Studio, where he studied ancient Egyptian art. In 1957, he received a two-year scholarship to the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich.
He was born in 1929 in Cairo, where he continues to live and work.
Lasting Impressions: Adam Henein (2019)