Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim b. 1962


Emirati artist Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim  is part of the UAE's first generation of contemporary artists from the late 1980s, an avant-garde scene that included Hassan Sharif, Abdullah Al Saadi, Hussein Sharif, and Mohammed Kazem. Ibrahim’s work has been inspired by a lifelong relationship with the environment of Khorfakkan, his place of birth, with the Gulf of Oman on one side and the Hajar Mountains on the other. This deep connection to his local environment repeats itself throughout his studio practice, whether through his installations, drawings or objects, and the materials he has worked with for over three decades. His hand made objects are shaped like primitive tools, bones or parts of trees and appear to have been unearthed from some ancient den, rather than handcrafted. His works on paper reveal his own form of language - inscriptions, lines and abstract forms that are reminiscent of ancient cave drawings - marking time and memory through meditative repetition. 


Ibrahim came of age as an artist in the UAE in an era in which the visual arts were not yet valued culturally or taught in university degree programs. In 1986, when he met the late artist Hassan Sharif (a founding member of the influential Emirates Fine Art Society), Ibrahim was pulled out of a secluded practice and carved out unshakable friendships and collaborations that have formed the foundation for the creative community that defines the UAE today.

Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim  represented the UAE at the 2022 Venice Biennale with a large-scale installation titled Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim: Between Sunrise and Sunset. The exhibition presented a new body of work created for the National Pavilion UAE, curated by Maya Allison, Executive Director of The New York University Abu Dhabi Art Gallery.


In March 2018 Elements, a survey of works spanning three decades of his practice, was presented at the Sharjah Art Foundation, curated by Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi. 

Ibrahim's recent solo exhibitions include The Armory Show with Lawrie Shabibi, New York (2022); Embryonic Coat, (2022), Memory Drum (2020) and The Space between the Eyelid and the Eyeball (2019) at Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, as well as a series of solo shows at Cuadro Gallery, Dubai (2018, 2016, 2015, 2013).


Ibrahim’s public works include: Falling Stones Garden, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, commissioned by the Royal Commission for Al Ula and Desert X, Al Ula, Saudi Arabia, 2020; Grocery, commissioned by Ghadan 21, Government of Abu Dhabi as part of the For Abu Dhabi initiative, Madinat Zayed Market, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2019; Untitled (2019), commissioned by Aldar Properties PJSC in partnership with Abu Dhabi Art Reem Central Park, Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2019; Kids Garden (2019), commissioned by Abu Dhabi Health Services Company, Sheikh Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 2019; and Bait Al Hurma (2018), commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation as part of the exhibition Elements, Al Mureijah Square, Sharjah.


Ibrahim's select group exhibitions include Portrait Of A Nation II: Beyond Narratives, Produced by Abu Dhabi Festival organised by ADMAF, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, 2022; But We Cannot See Them: Tracing a UAE Art Community, 1988-2008 at The NYUAD Art Gallery (2017); The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Yay Gallery, Baku (2015); the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi (2016); the 53rd Venice Biennale, Venice (2009); the Sharjah Biennial (1993, 2003 and 2007); and the Dhaka Biennial (2002 and 1993).

Select institutional exhibitions include the Kunstmuseum, Bonn, 2005; the Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, 2005 & 1996; the Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, 2002; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, 1998; Sittard Art Centre, the Netherlands, 1995, and the Exhibition for the Emirates Fine Art Society in the Soviet Union, Moscow, 1990.


He received the first prize for sculpture at the Sharjah Biennial in 1999 and 2001 and has been a member of the Emirates Fine Arts Society since 1986, founding Art Atelier at the Khor Fakkan Art Centre in 1997. He has participated in artist residencies at Trans Indian Ocean Artist Exchange, Kochi Murzi Biennale, India (2016); A.i.R Dubai (2015); Le Consortium, Dijon, France (2009) and Kunstcentrum Sittard, the Netherlands (1994-1996, 1998-2000). 


His works have been acquired by significant international collections, including Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah; Art Jameel Collection, Dubai; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; Kunstcentrum Sittard, Sittard; The British Museum, London; and  Le Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.


Ibrahim works and lives in Khor Fakkan, United Arab Emirates.