Pioneering Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim will represent the United Arab Emirates at the 2022 edition of la Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale), in an exhibition curated by Maya Allison for the National Pavilion UAE.
Inspired by Khor Fakkan's natural environment
Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, ‘Memory Drum,’ Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2020. (Installation view: Courtesy the Artist and Lawrie Shabibi)
“Here in the UAE we are surrounded by diverse and ancient landscapes as well as advanced urbanisation. This tension is one of the concepts I explore in my work through organic materials, by allowing my subconscious to find the forms. I am delighted to be able to share my locally-rooted practice with a global audience at the Venice Biennale.”
Part of the UAE’s avant-garde scene
Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, ‘Memory Drum’, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2020. (Installation view: Courtesy the Artist and Lawrie Shabibi)
This deep connection to his local environment repeats itself throughout his studio practice, whether through his installations, drawings or objects, and the materials he has worked with for over three decades.
His hand made objects are shaped like primitive tools, bones or parts of trees and appear to have been unearthed from some ancient den, rather than handcrafted.
His works on paper reveal his own form of language -- inscriptions, lines and abstract forms that are reminiscent of ancient cave drawings -- marking time and memory through meditative repetition, which links him to Sharif, Al Saadi, and Sherif.
Latest works on show in Dubai
Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, ‘Red River,’ Acrylic on canvas. 155cmX155com. Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, 2020. (Installation view: Courtesy the Artist and Lawrie Shabibi)
Two new bodies of work have emerged from Ibrahim’s six months of seclusion: a group of large paintings with plant-like forms (either trees or flowers) -- his Boulevard and Flower series; and a group of sculptures that are either vaguely anthropomorphic, or else resemble toys from earliest stages of childhood.
Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim, Green Boulevard, 2020. (Courtesy: Lawrie Shabibi)
Both bodies of work are seen through a minimalist lens and alternate between brightly-colored and neutral hues.