Ahmed Morsi is a prolific artist, poet, translator and art and literary critic. While studying literature at the University of Alexandria, from which he graduated in 1954, he also studied in the studio of Italian artist Antonio Becci. Between 1955 and 1957, Morsi taught English in Baghdad, working alongside intellectuals such as the poet Abdelwahhab Al Bayati. Upon his return to Egypt in 1957, he collaborated with the Egyptian modernist painter Abdel Hadi Al Gazzar (1925–1966) on theatrical projects and publications, and in 1968 he co-founded the Egyptian art magazine Gallery’68. In addition to translating into Arabic works by Paul Éluard and Louis Aragon, among others, Morsi has published books of poetry and art criticism.
Morsi’s poetry and criticism inform his visual art production. While largely comprised of paintings, his oeuvre also includes prints, drawings and photographs. At once figurative and fantastical, Morsi’s paintings are populated with figures and scenes that are as representative of real events and places as they are influenced by mythology, imagination and the subconscious. The figures in Lovers and Adam & Eve are characteristic of Morsi’s treatment and placement of human bodies in scenes. In both of these dream-like canvases, pairs of figures gather in imaginary and ambiguous landscapes. While their thick, static shapes and large eyes evoke ancient Sumerian temple statuary, the paintings’ ostensible subjects — copulation and temptation — root these works in the everydayness and physicality of the human body.