Abdul Hadi El-Gazzar was born in 1925 in Alexandria. He started his artistic career as early as Secondary School where, among with other peers, he founded the Group of Contemporary Art. The Group revolved around the idea that there was the need for a revival of genuine Egyptian history; the artists did so by mixing contemporary popular trends with traditional folk symbolism.
In 1950, El-Gazzar graduated with excellency from the School of Fine Arts and only a year later held his first solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo. El Gazzar’s paintings are heavily influenced by the complex political situation in which Egypt found itself in the 1950s. His works capture the complications and miseries of ordinary people who El Gazzar always put in the context of what he referred to as folk symbolism. Starting from 1954 the artist travelled extensively through Europe and four years later he became the first Egyptian to obtain a diploma in the field of restoration and technology. El Gazzar’s works have been exhibited multiple times in Europe including the 1960 Venice Biennial. The artist passed away in 1966. His works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in Cairo, Museum of Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria and the Arab Museum of Paris.