Abdullah Al Saadi to feature at 60th Venice Biennale
Abdullah Al Saadi returns to the International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale after three years with a solo exhibition.
ArtDayME: Emirati artist Abdullah Al Saadi will represent the UAE at the 60th International Art Exhibition of the La Biennale di Venezia, or the Venice Biennale, opening in April 2024.
Curated by Tarek Abou El-Fetouh, the solo exhibition marks the artist’s return to Venice following his participation at the 57th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia in 2017.
Emirati artist Abdullah Al-Saadi with curator Tarek Abou El-Fetouh. (Courtesy of National Pavilion UAE- La Biennale di Venezia. Photo by Daryll Borja)
Considered a key figure in the contemporary art scene in the UAE, Al-Saadi’s practice range includes painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, photography, collecting and cataloguing found objects, and the creation of new alphabets.
His work is informed by the UAE’s landscape and his family history, often exploring relationships between individuals and their natural and social environment.
“Abdullah’s practice has been, over the last 40 years, a continuous engagement with changing environments as well as personal and cultural histories, creating points where they meet and interweave,” said El-Fetouh.
About Abdullah Al Saadi
Abdullah Al Saadi is an Emirati artist and one of the Pioneer "Five" original conceptual artists from the United Arab Emirates including Hassan Sharif, Hussain Sharif, Mohammed Kazem, and Mohammed Ahmed Ibrahim.
Abdullah Al Saadi’s work ranges from painting, drawing and the creation of lengthy artists’ notebooks to the collection and systematic categorisation of found objects and the invention of new alphabets. A great affinity with nature and rural life informs his practice, which explores the changing environment as well as personal and cultural history.
Al Saadi’s work has been shown in the solo exhibition Al-Toubay, Sharjah Art Foundation (2014), and his installation Camar Cande’s Journey (2010-2011) was a SAF commission. His work was also presented in a number of group exhibitions, including Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); 1980–Today: Exhibitions in the United Arab Emirates, Venice Biennale (2015); Sharjah Biennial 12 (2015); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York (2014); Emirati Expressions: Realised, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2013); Body Art and Performance in the Gulf Area: 16 Artists, New York University Abu Dhabi (2013); Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011); Venice Biennale (2011); ADACH Platform, Venice Biennale, (2009); Languages of the Desert, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Germany (2005); São Paulo Biennial (2004); Sharjah Biennial 6 (2003) and The Art of the Five from the United Arab Emirates, Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany (2002).
Al Saadi holds a bachelor’s degree in English literature from the United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain (1993) and studied Japanese painting at Kyoto Seika University, Kyoto, Japan (1994-1996).
He was born in 1967 in Khorfakkan, United Arab Emirates, where he still lives and works.