Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim: Between Sunrise and Sunset
The 59th International Art Exhibition
Curated by Maya Allison for Biennale Arte 2022, Between Sunrise and Sunset is a single work by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim in which dozens of human-sized, biomorphic sculptures cluster in undulating color and movement—suggesting bodies or trees, metamorphosis, and mutation. The color spectrum transforms across the span of the installation: from sunrise to sunset.
These visceral forms evolve from what the artist sees “in the space between the pupil and the eyelid,” and from his physical dialogue with the materials. By hand he builds up papier-mâché over loose skeleton structures that shift and settle into their final position over time. Often incorporating actual earth, leaves, tea, coffee and tobacco, the texture and colors of the forms derive from his raw materials.
Ibrahim’s practice spans almost 40 years of prolific experimentation and production. He is known as a core member of a tightly knit group of experimental, conceptual artists who have led the vanguard of visual art in the UAE since the 1980s—the group is often referred to as “the five”. This community is widely influential in the Gulf arts scene, but under-studied elsewhere until it began appearing in canonizing surveys of the region. Members have included the late Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi, Mohammed Kazem, and Hussain Sharif, among others.
The exhibition is Ibrahim and Allison’s fifth collaboration and the third book that Allison has produced that studies Ibrahim’s work, with the first two looking at his work in the context of his milieu.
The accompanying publication, Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim: Between Sunrise and Sunset / Works 1986 – 2022 is the first monograph of Ibrahim’s work, and is co-edited by Allison and Cristiana de Marchi and published by Kaph Books.
The 59th International Art Exhibition curated by New York based Italian curator and artistic director Cecilia Alemani under the theme The Milk of Dreams, was open to the public between 23 April – 27 November 2022.