In his drawings, paintings, sculptures and installations, Fathi Hassan (b. 1957, Cairo) experiments with the written and spoken word, exploring the theme of languages erased by colonial domination. With an invented, Kufic-inspired script, he plays with symbols, textures and calligraphy of his Nubian and Egyptian heritage to explore the space between graphic symbolism and literal meaning in vibrant colours and collage.
Over the past 30 years Hassan’s work has been exhibited internationally as part of major group and solo shows in the UK, USA, Belgium, Denmark, Egypt and Italy, including the 1988 Venice Biennale. Recent exhibitions include Investec Cape Town Art Fair, with Lawrie Shabibi, Cape Town, South Africa (2020), MATERIALIZE, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE (2019), Hemsat [Whispers], Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, UAE (2019), 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, with Lawrie Shabibi, London, UK (2019, 2018), Cortesie Per Gli Ospiti, Palazzo Collicoli, Spoleto, Italy (2017), African Art Against the State, Williams College Museum of Art, Massachusetts, USA (2016), OUR LANGUAGE, Egyptian Museum of Fine Art, Egypt (2016), THE GESTURE, Marta Massaioli Fondation, Fabbriano, Italy (2016), Edge of Memory, Clark Museum, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (2016), Migration of Signs, Williams College Museum of Art, Massachusetts, USA (2015).
Hassan’s work is in a number of significant public and private collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK, British Museum, London, UK, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC, USA, Williams College Museum of Art, Massachusetts, USA, Clark Museum, Atlanta , Georgia, USA, Cantor Arts Center, Stanford University, USA, Texas Southern University Museum, Houston, USA, Fondazione Fausto Radici, Bergamo, Italy, Flash Art museum, Trevi, Italy Symphonia S.G.R, Milan, Italy, The Farjam Collection, Dubai, UAE, Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE, and The Museum of Modern Egyptian Art, Cairo, Egypt.
Hassan lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland.