Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist

Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom
03 Jul 2013 - 22 Sep 2013

Tate Modern presents Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist. Bringing together approximately 80 works from five decades of the artist’s career, the retrospective highlights one of the most significant figures in African and Arab Modernist art, and reveals his place in the context of a global art history.

The exhibition outlines the artist’s personal journey, beginning in Sudan in the 1950’s and followed by his international schooling at the Slade School in London. After a period of research and self-discovery, he returned to Sudan in 1957. There, he established a new Sudanese visual vocabulary, which arose from his own pioneering integration of Islamic, African, Arab and Western artistic traditions. El-Salahi lived in Qatar before settling in England in the 1990s. His recent paintings reflect his joy for life, his deep spiritual faith, and a profound recognition of his place in the world.

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist is organised by the Museum for African Art, New York, in association with Tate Modern, London. It is curated by Salah M. Hassan, Goldwin Smith Professor of African and African diaspora art history and visual culture and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities at Cornell University, and  will be curated at Tate Modern by Elvira Dyangani Ose, Curator of International Art.

Artist Talk: Ibrahim El-Salahi in conversation with Salah M. Hassan

5 July 2013, 19.00 – 20.30

Tate Modern, East Room


Ibrahim El-Salahi was born in Omdurman, Sudanin 1930 and now lives and works in Oxford, England. His work has been shown at such venues as PS1, New York; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; and Haus der Kunst, Munich. He is represented in numerous private and public collections including the MoMA, New York; New National Gallery, Berlin; and Tate, London. He received the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship; the Order of Knowledge, Arts and Letters, Sudan; and the Honorary Award, Prince Claus Fund for Culture and  Development.

Salah M. Hassan is the Goldwin Smith Professor and director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities, and professor African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture in the Africana Studies and Research Center, and in the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University. He is editor of Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art, and consulting editor for Journal of Curatorial Studies and Atlantica. He authored, edited and co-edited several books including Diaspora, Memory, Place (2008), Unpacking Europe (2001), and Authentic/Ex-Centric (2001), and curated several international exhibitions including Authentic/Ex-Centric (49th Venice Biennale, 2001), Unpacking Europe (Rotterdam, 2001-02), and 3×3: Three Artists/Three Projects, David Hammons, Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons, Pamela Z (Dak’Art,  2004).







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