Murtaza Vali is a critic, curator and art historian. His ongoing research interests include materialist art histories, ex-centric minimalisms, ghosts and other figures of liminal subjectivities and repressed histories, the weight of colour and contemporary art of the Indian Ocean littoral.

He is currently curating a series of exhibitions entitled Substructures: Excavating the Everyday at Warehouse421 in Abu Dhabi and is part of the Artistic Team for the 2nd FRONT Triennial in Cleveland in 2022. Past curatorial projects include Crude, Jameel Art Centre, Dubai (2018–2019); Mohammed Kazem: Ways of Marking, Aicon Gallery, New York (2018); Vikram Divecha: Minor Work; Gallery IVDE, Dubai (2017); Accented, Maraya Art Centre, Sharjah (2015), Geometries of Difference: New Approaches to Abstraction and Ornament, Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New York (2015); and Brute Ornament: Kamrooz Aram and Seher Shah, Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2012). 

Vali is an Adjunct Curator at the Jameel Arts Centre in Dubai as well as a Visiting Instructor at Pratt Institute, Brooklyn. He is also a Lead Tutor of Campus Art Dubai and a Lead Mentor for the Hayy: Learning Curatorial Fellowship.

His long-form publications include: A ‘Real Allegory’ of Manual Labor in the Age of Global Capital, published in di’van|A Journal of Accounts, Sydney (2020) and Lost Horizons: Revisiting CAMP’s Indian Ocean Projects in the forthcoming book accompanying March Meeting 2021, Sharjah Art Foundation.

He received the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for Short-Form Writing (2011) and Lori Ledis Curatorial Fellowship (2010). He served on the Selection Jury for Sharjah Art Foundation Production Programme Grants (2010).

Vali earned an MA in Art History and Archaeology from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts (2004). Born in 1974 in Sharjah, he currently lives and works between Sharjah and Brooklyn.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2021
March Meeting 2012
Sharjah Biennial 10

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