Ibrahim El-Salahi: The Pioneering Sudanese Artist That You Should Know

Article:  Ibrahim El-Salahi: The Pioneering Sudanese Artist That You Should Know


Beginning in 2012 and through 2013, a traveling retrospective of one of the greatest living African artists made stops at museums in Sharjah, Doha, and ultimately, London, disseminating the powerful visual language of Ibrahim El-Salahi. The show was curated by Salah Hassan, who recognized the pioneering Sudanese artist’s pivotal role in African modernism—and the constraints of art history that have hindered his significance.

“El-Salahi is arguably one of the most important modern African artists alive,” said curator Elvira Dyangani Ose, who co-curated the retrospective at the Tate with Hassan. “His vibrant, experimental and enduring body of work helped to write one of the most critical chapters of Sudanese art, in particular, and African art, in general.”  But while the show made a triumphal final stop at the Tate Modern (it was the British institution’s first solo show dedicated to an African artist), and a handful of international galleries have shownthe artist, who is now 85 years old, over the past few years (London’s Vigo Gallery has givenhim two solo shows since 2014), El-Salahi has remained largely under-recognized in the U.S., perhaps until now.