(BLOUIN ARTINFO) - The first solo exhibition of Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi is being held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, in collaboration with Vigo Gallery
The exhibition showcases the artist’s paintings and works on paper to the local people of Oxford, who never had an opportunity to witness African and Arabic art. Ibrahim El-Salahi is one of the most important modern African artists and pioneer of the ‘Hurufiyah’ art movement that combines the traditional graphic form like calligraphy into contemporary art forms with an Arabic intonation. His paintings and paper drawings have distinct influence of the Islamic tradition of his homeland that he depicts with spectacular imagination and fuses his deep knowledge of European art with it.
Ibrahim El-Salahi was born in 1930 in Omdurman, Sudan. During his childhood, he studied at the Quranic School run by his father, where he learned calligraphy, which was predominant throughout his career. He studied art at the School of Design of the Gordon Memorial College, which is currently The University of Khartoum. He earned a scholarship to study at the Slade School of Fine Art in London, where he was exposed to European Art and artists. This experience changed his artistic style and he tilted towards modernism. In 1962, he received a UNESCO scholarship to study in the United States, where he became acquainted with the American art scene. Afterwards, he traveled to Latin America and absorbed their style. His work has been showcased in various solo exhibitions throughout the world and has been featured in famous international collections such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Victoria, Sydney; British Museum, London; and Tate Gallery, London. The most important of Salahi’s artwork featured in this exhibition is his “Tree” series, which presents the abstract motif of a tree which links the heaven and earth. Ibrahim’s art works are juxtaposed alongside some ancient Sudanese art works from the Ashmolean’s collection.
Ibrahim El-Salahi’s exhibition will run through September 2, 2018, at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, 35 Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2PH, UK.