Ibrahim El-Salahi, Untitled, 1976, Watercolour on newspaper, 38 x 28 cm / 15 x 11 in, Courtesy Vigo Gallery
Ibrahim El-Salahi, Untitled, 1976, Watercolour on newspaper, 38 x 28 cm / 15 x 11 in, Courtesy Vigo Gallery 

El-Salahi’s impressive career spans over five decades and is marked by rigorous experimentation within a Modernist vocabulary. While his work has shifted stylistically over time, his reliance on line drawing provides an overarching structural and emotive device. Considered one of the most significant figures in African and Arab Modernism, his work is deeply spiritual and reflective, while vigorously attending to social and political injustice. In 2013, the first Tate Modern exhibition dedicated to African Modernism traced the life and work of El-Salahi, bringing together 100 works from across the many decades of his career. El-Salahi’s works are held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Tate and the British Museum, London; Sharjah Art Foundation; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha; National Museum of African Art – Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; Art Institute of Chicago; National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; and Newark Museum.