Ahmed Alsoudani


"These turbulent paintings depict a disfigured tableau of war and atrocity. Although the content of the paintings draw on my own experiences of recent wars in Iraq, the imagery of devastation and violence – occasionally laced with a morbid and barbed humour – evoke a universal experience of conflict and human suffering. Deformed figures, some almost indistinguishable and verging on the bestial, intertwine and distort in vivid, surreal landscapes. Figures are often depicted at a moment of transition – through fear or agony – from human to grotesque."

1975 born in Baghdad, Iraq and lives in New York, USA.

Ahmed Alsoudani's war-torn childhood in Iraq provides much of the inspiration for his artistic explorations of violence and intercultural musings. Inspired by and in many cases reminiscent of artists such as Francisco Goya, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon, Ahmed creates surreal and jarring compositions that portray both psychological and literal casualties. After living through two wars, Ahmed sought asylum in the United States in 1999, where he was able to study and expand his artistic practice. Although removed from the day-to-day bloodshed, he continued to meditate on the subject, saying about his struggle “the war for me is a life-and-death issue. I’ve been dealing with it since before I’ve been here, and it’s hard to step away from it. I’m not interested in showing blood and war. I’m working really hard to capture the moment between when the aircraft are attacking and the moment after the attack, that line between life and death.”

Ahmed graduated from the Yale School of Art in 2008 and his work has been included in museum exhibitions at the Minneapolis Institute of Art (2011), The Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha, Qatar (2011) and the Saatchi Gallery’s Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East (2009). A monograph of his work was published by Hatje Cantz (2009) and he has been profiled in Der Spiegel, Art + Auction and Canvas Magazine. His work has been critically reviewed in The Sunday Times and The Independent, Artnet and other publications. Alsoudani’s work is held in the collections of the Columbus Museum of Art, the Pinault Foundation collection, the Qatar Museum and private collections around the world. His work will be featured in the Iraq Pavilion at the 2011 54th Venice Biennale and also shown in the Pinault Foundation at Palazzo Grassi. Ahmed Alsoudani is represented by Haunch of Venison Gallery, London.

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