Ibrahim El-Salahi: “Understood and Counted”: A Conversation with Ibrahim El-Salahi

Article: “Understood and Counted”: A Conversation with Ibrahim El-Salahi


The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi curatorial team has been granted a rare opportunity to build a collection from the ground up. Assembling the collection for the future Guggenheim Abu Dhabi has allowed us to expand our curatorial thinking and consider modern arts movements and practices in all parts of the world as we endeavor to create a museum collection that, from its beginnings, honors the work of modern artists working across nations and contexts.

A masterpiece from the personal collection of renowned Sudanese artist Ibrahim El-Salahi — Untitled (1964) — is a cornerstone work for Guggenheim Abu Dhabi. Born in Sudan in 1930, El-Salahi has long been regarded as one of the forefathers of modern art in Sudan and a key contributor to African modernism. He was a founding member of the Khartoum School in 1960, along with Kamala Ibrahim Ishag and Ahmed Shibrain, who is also represented in the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi collection. Together, the artists of the Khartoum school sought to foster an arts practice that responded to the specific cultural heritage of Sudan, a particularly important charge as the country emerged from decades of colonial control, gaining independence in 1956.


Ibriahim El-Salahi Taylor Collection Denver