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Wael Shawky Biography

Based on extensive periods of research and enquiry, Wael Shawky’s work tackles notions of national, religious and artistic identity through film, performance and storytelling. Whether instructing Bedouin children to act out the construction of an airport runway in the desert or organizing a heavy metal concert in a remote Egyptian village, Shawky frames contemporary culture through the lens of historical tradition and vice versa. Mixing truth and fiction, childlike wonder and spiritual doctrine, Shawky has staged epic recreations of the medieval clashes between Muslims and Christians in his trilogy of puppet animations – titled Cabaret Crusades: The Horror Show Files (2010), The Path to Cairo (2012) and The Secrets of Karbala (2014) – while his two-part film, Al Araba Al Madfuna (2013), uses child actors to recount poetic myths, paying homage, rather than mere lip-service, to the important narratives of yesteryear.

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Wael Shawky was born in Alexandria in 1971 where he lives and works. Recent solo exhibitions include Serpentine Galleries, London (2013-14); KW Contemporary Art Institute, Berlin (2012); Nottingham Contemporary (2011); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2011); Delfina Foundation, London (2011) and Cittadellarte – Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella (2010). He has participated in the 11th Sharjah Biennial (2013); Documenta 13, Kassel, (2012); the ninth Gwangju Biennial, (2012); SITE Santa Fe Biennial (2008); Istanbul Biennial (2005); and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Recent awards include the Award for Filmic Oeuvre created by Louis Vuitton and Kino der Kunst (2013); the Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2012), the Schering Foundation Art Award (2011), as well as The International Commissioning Grant and an award from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, in 2005. Shawky founded the educational space MASS Alexandria in 2010 and is represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery in Beirut and Hamburg.

Wael Shawky
featured artworks

Isles of the Blessed XII by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Wael Shawky Isles of the Blessed XII, 2022 Oil on canvas
40.6 x 51.1 x 3.8 cm
Lisson Gallery Request Price & Availability
Isles of the Blessed IV by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Wael Shawky Isles of the Blessed IV, 2022 Oil on canvas
180.7 x 150.5 x 6.4 cm
Lisson Gallery Request Price & Availability
Al Araba Al Madfuna, Paintings by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork painting
Wael Shawky Al Araba Al Madfuna, Paintings, 2019 Oil on canvas
120 x 150 x 5 cm
Lisson Gallery Request Price & Availability
Al Araba Al Madfuna, Painting by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork painting
Wael Shawky Al Araba Al Madfuna, Painting, 2019 Oil on Canvas
150 x 120 cm
Sold
Barakat Contemporary
Al Araba Al Madfuna, Drawing by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork drawing
Wael Shawky Al Araba Al Madfuna, Drawing, 2019 Graphite, ink, oil, mixed media on cotton paper
50.2 x 70.5 cm
Sold
Barakat Contemporary
Al Araba Al Madfuna, Drawing by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork drawing
Wael Shawky Al Araba Al Madfuna, Drawing, 2019 Graphite, ink, oil, mixed media on cotton paper
50.2 x 70.5 cm
Barakat Contemporary Request Price & Availability
Al Araba Al Madfuna, Painting by Wael Shawky contemporary artwork painting
Wael Shawky Al Araba Al Madfuna, Painting, 2019 Oil on canvas
150 x 120 cm
Sold
Barakat Contemporary

Wael Shawky
recent exhibitions

Represented by these
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Lisson Gallery contemporary art gallery in Lisson Street, London, United Kingdom
Lisson Gallery Beijing, London, Los Angeles, New York, Shanghai +1

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