Hassan Sharif’s work is marked by the use of common materials in accumulative installations
as well as complex social and philosophical reflection. Rejecting calligraphic abstraction, the dominant regional art discourse in the 1970s, Sharif pursued a contemporary art vocabulary that drew upon the non-elitism and intermedia of Fluxus and the potential in British Constructionism’s systemic processes of making.
Sharif graduated from The Byam Shaw School of Art, London, in 1984 and returned to the UAE where he began staging interventions and exhibitions of contemporary art in Sharjah. Moving between roles as an artist, educator, critic and writer, Sharif has worked to encourage the engagement of local audiences with contemporary art through his Arabic translations of art historical texts and manifestos. His work includes the founding and co-founding of the Emirates Fine Arts Society, Sharjah (1980); Al Mareija Art Atelier, Sharjah (1984); the Art Atelier in the Youth Theater and Arts, Dubai (1987) and The Flying House, Dubai (2007) –organisations that have supported interdisciplinary approaches to contemporary art in the Emirates through mentorship and exhibition.
A retrospective of his work Hassan Sharif: Experiments & Objects 1979-2011, curated by Catherine David and Mohammed Kazem, was held at Qasr Al Hosn, Abu Dhabi in 2011.Recent group exhibitions include Artevida: Corpo, Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (2014); Une Histoire- Art, Architecture and Design from the 1980s to the Present, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014); Here and Elsewhere, New Museum, New York (2014); Biennale of Sydney (2012); Systems and Patterns, The International Centre of Graphic Arts, Ljubljana, Slovenia (2012); Interventions, Mathaf, Doha (2010); ADACH Platform for Visual Arts, Venice Biennale (2009); Language of the Desert, Kunst Museum, Bonn, Germany (2005); 5 UAE, Ludwig Forum for International Art, Aachen, Germany (2002) and The Contemporary Arts of the Arab World, Darat Al Funun, Amman, Jordan (2000); UAE Contemporary Art, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (1998) and The Six, Sharjah Art Museum (1996). In addition to Sharjah Biennial 12, Hassan Sharif has participated in seven Sharjah Biennials since 1993.
His work is held in collections including M+, Hong Kong; Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris; Mathaf, Doha; Sharjah Art Museum and Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah.
This person was part of Sharjah Biennial 12