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Abdulnasser Gharem's (born 1973 in Khamis Mushait, SA) work is closely linked to his personal journey. Educated as a major for the Saudi Arabian Army he integrates his experiences into his artistic practice. Due to censorship in his homeland he found new ways to also express critical thoughts towards the government through clever usage of every day visual communication, such as road signs, political figures, trademarks, and mass production. This allows him to comment on socio-political events, which requires a high level of sensitivity regarding his risky position as a Saudi Arabian citizen.


Biography // Education


Founding of Gharem Studio – non-profit arts organization offering artist residencies


Study of Fine Arts at Al-Meftaha Arts Village, Abha, SA

1995 - 2003

Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Arabian army


Leader Institute, Riyadh, SA


Graduation from King Abdulaziz Military Academy, Riyadh, SA

Biography // Solo Exhibitions


Abdulnasser Gharem: Pause, LACMA, Los Angeles, USA


The Awakening, Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, UAE


Edge of Arabia, Ayyam Gallery, London, UK
Abdulnasser Gharem, Side by Side Gallery, Berlin, DE


Restored Behaviour, XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE


The Path, King Fahd Art Village, Abha, SA


The White Tongue Who Speaks Slowly, King Fahad Art Village, Abha, SA
Who Keeps Watching the Sun (Sunflower field), Death Mattered – Attileh, Jeddah, SA


Mute, Attileh, Jeddah, SA
UN Inspector, Attileh, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia

Biography // Group Exhibitions


The Mouth is for Speaking, WE ARE AIA, Zurich, CH


Parallel Kingdom, Station Museum, Houston, Texas, USA
Illumination, New contemporary art at the Louisiana, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, Denmark


Saudi Art Contemporary, Chalet Saqqarah, Gstaad, CH


Arab Contemporary, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek, DK
A Generation In Waiting, Side by Side Gallery, Berlin, DE


Light from the Middle East: New Photography – Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
La voce delle immagini- Palazzo Grassi – Venice, IT
#COMETOGETHER, Edge of Arabia London, UK
Arab Express: The Latest Art From the Arab World – Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, JP
Porta dell”Oriente – Roma Contemporary, IT
Bending History – Katara Galleries, Doha, QA
Hajj, Journey to the Heart of Islam – British Museum, London, UK
Edge of Arabia – Al Furusia Marina, Jeddah, SA
Contemporary Istanbul, TR


Political Patterns – ifa-Galerie, Berlin, De
The Future of a Promise: Contemporary Art from the Arab World – Magazzini del Sale, 54th Venice Biennale, IT
The Bravery of Being Out of Range – Athr Gallery, Jeddah, SA
The New Middle East – Willem Baars Projects, Amsterdam, NL
Edge of Arabia Dubai: TERMINAL – Building 9, Gate Village, Dubai, UAE
International Financial Centre, Dubai, UAE
Uppers & Downers – Traffic, Dubai, UAE
Nujoom: Constellations of Arab Art from The Farjam Collection – The Farjam Collection @ DIFC, Dubai, UAE
I Don’t Need Your Money Honey All I Need is Love – Traffic, Dubai, UAE


Edge of Arabia Istanbul: TRANSiTION – Sanat Limani, Antrepo 5, Istanbul, TR
Opening the Doors: Collecting Middle Eastern Art, Abu Dhabi Art, UAE
CAVE: Contemporary Arab Video Encounter – Maraya Arts Centre, Sharjah, UAE
Emerging Asian Artists, Gwangju Biennale, KR
Edge of Arabia Berlin: Grey Borders/Grey Frontiers – Soho House, Berlin,DE
Fuck Ups, Fables and Fiascos – Galerie Caprice Horn, Berlin, DE
Edge of Arabia World Tour Launch – Global Competitiveness Forum, Riyadh, SA
Taswir: Pictorial Mappings of Islam and Modernity – Martin Gropius-Bau, Berlin, DE


The 28th Annual Exhibition – Gulf Fine Arts Society, Sharjah, UAE
Edge of Arabia Venice – Palazzo Polignac, 53rd Venice Biennale, IT


Edge of Arabia London: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia – SOAS Brunei Gallery, University of London, UK


Still Life: Art, Ecology and the Politics of Change – Sharjah Biennial 8, UAE


Son of Aseer – Al-Meftaha Arts Village, Abha, SA


Shattah – Atelier Gallery, Jeddah, UAE

Biography // Awards & Grants


Kuwaiti Freedom Prize

Biography // Collections

The British Museum, London, UK
V&A Museum, London, UK
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, California, USA
Palazzo Grassi, Venice, IT
Greenbox Museum, Amsterdam, NL
The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture & Information, SA BASMOCA: Basma Al Sulaiman
Museum of Contemporary Art, Jeddah, SA
The Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE Nadour Collection, DE
The Jameel Foundation, SA
The Farook Collection, UAE
The Farjam Collection, UAE
Kamel Lazaar Foundation, CH

Biography // Bibliography

Hemming, Henry. Abdulnasser Gharem: Art of Survival (London: Booth-Clibborn, 2011)
Jameel, Porter, King, Stapleton, Al-Turki. Edge of Arabia: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia (London: Booth Clibborn, 2012)
Porter, Venetia. Hajj, journey to the heart of Islam (London: Harvard University Press, 2012)
Lazaar, Lina and Downey, Anthony. The Future of a Promise (London: Ibraaz, 2011)