Sharjah Museum of Art presents an exhibition by Ibrahim El Salahi from Mar. 20- May. 31

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist From

Museum for African Art, New York

80 works encompassing over five decades of the artist’s career




Ibrahim El-Salahi, the Tree, 2001

Colored ink on watercolor paper, 21 ½ x21 in. (54.6 x 53.3 cm) framed

Collection of the artist

Photo: Museum for African Art / Andy Keate

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist, an exhibition organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, highlights the exemplary work of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi. The retrospective includes 80 works encompassing over five decades of the artist’s career. A Visionary Modernist follows work produced during El-Salahi’s travels from Sudan, while in self-imposed exile in Qatar, and on his continued spiritual journey in Oxford, United Kingdom.

 The exhibition highlights drawings, paintings, and literary ephemera on loan from international institutions and private collections.

El Salahi’s body of work is not bound within one style nor is it constrained by the early parameters of Sudanese aesthetic practices. His paintings combine a critical understanding of western art principles with reference to Sudanese and Islamic art forms. His trademark linear style remains a pre-eminent unifying device expressing the intuitive merging of Islamic spirituality with critical social consciousness.

Ibrahim El-Salahi studied at the School of Design at Gordon Memorial College in Khartoum, attended the Slade School of Fine Art in London, and was head of the Painting Department at the College of Fine and Applied Art in Khartoum. El-Salahi’s work has been included in major exhibitions such as The Short Century, PS1, New York, 2002; Interventions: a dialogue between the modern and the contemporary, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar, 2010; and The Future of Tradition – The Tradition of Future: Masterpieces of Muhammadan Art, Haus der Kunst, Berlin Germany, 2011.


El-Salahi’s art is in numerous private and public collections including the Museum of Modern Art; Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; Hampton University Art Museum, Virginia; New National Gallery, Berlin; Iwalewa-Haus, Bayreuth, Germany; National Gallery of Victoria, Sydney; and the Newcastle Art Gallery, Australia.

El-Salahi has been the recipient of numerous awards including the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, 1964-65; Order of Knowledge, Arts and Letters, Sudan, 1975; Honorary Award, Prince Klaus Fund, 2001


A Visionary Modernist is guest curated by Dr. Salah M. Hassan, Professor of African and African Diaspora Art History and Visual Culture at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York.

Ibrahim El-Salahi: A Visionary Modernist is organized by the Museum for African Art, New York, and has been supported, in part, by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Additional support has been provided by the Sharjah Art Museum and the Prince Claus Fund for Culture and Development.

 About Sharjah Museums Department:

The Sharjah Museums Department (SMD) was established in 2006 by His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as an independent government entity that aims to provide highest standard of museums to Sharjah’s residents and visitors, by offering a range of facilities, organizing specialized exhibitions, and launching educational programmes, in addition to publishing research and reaching all social groups. SMD manages more than 17 sites in the emirate, covering most types of art, Islamic culture, archaeology, heritage, sciences, aquaculture and the history of the emirate of Sharjah and the region. 

(All info and pictures provided by the Sharjah Museum of Art)

For more information on the Sharjah Museum of Art click here

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