Abdullah Al Saadi
Abdullah Al Saadi is an Emirati artist who lives and works in Khor Fakkan and is one of the “Pioneer Five” conceptual artists, who, in the 1980s, bolstered the contemporary art scene in the UAE and influenced a generation of artists in the region. He studied English literature at the United Arab Emirates University, Al Ain, before studying Japanese painting at Kyoto Seika University in Japan between 1994 and 1996.
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 the artist’s practice, which explores local environments as well as intersections of personal and cultural history.
In 2021, his work was included in the permanent Public Art Programme of Expo 2020 Dubai. He also participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions, including the Sharjah Biennale 12 & 13 (2015, 2017); The 54th and 56th International Art Exhibitions of La Biennale di Venezia (2011, 2015); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York (2014); Al-Toubay, the Sharjah Art Foundation (2014); Emirati Expressions: Realised, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi (2013); Languages of the Desert, Kunstmuseum Bonn, (2005); Sao Paolo Biennale (2004); and The Art of the Five from the United Arab Emirates, Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany (2002). The artist currently lives and works in Khor Fakkan.