Maya Allison



Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim


Ground-breaking painter, sculptor and land artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim will represent the United Arab Emirates at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, in an exhibition to be curated by Maya Allison (Executive Director of The New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery) for the National Pavilion UAE.

Ibrahim is known for being one of the UAE’s earliest experimental artists and an influential member of the UAE’s now-historic avant-garde art community, which formed in the early 1980s. Through his form-led practice and handcrafted works, he responds to his environment with keen affinity for the natural landscapes of the UAE. Major institutions have acquired his work including the British Museum, Centre George Pompidou, Sharjah Art Foundation, Art Jameel, and Barjeel Art Foundation. His work was included in the Kochi-Muziris Biennial 2016 and numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally.

This exhibition marks a move toward a more artist-led approach: the National Pavilion UAE first appointed Ibrahim, following which he nominated Allison to curate the project. Allison is one of the leading experts on the contemporary UAE art scene, where she and Ibrahim had already formed a strong working relationship across several projects, including with The NYU Abu Dhabi Art Gallery’s But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community 1988-2008.

The 59th International Art Exhibition of la Biennale di Venezia will be held between 23 April 2022 and 27 November 2022, under the artistic direction of Cecilia Alemani.