Hassan Sharif (1951-2016) started his career as a caricaturist in the 1970s. His work reflected the rapid changes in the United Arab Emirates. In the 1980s, he started his development as a conceptual artist, being a pioneer of this genre in the Middle East. In time he became a colleague and a mentor for younger generations of artists. He was one of the artists who represented UAE at its first participation at the Venice Biennale in 2009.
Selected exhibitions: Hassan Sharif, gb agency, Paris (2017, solo); Viva Arte Viva, 57th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia (2017); The Creative Act: Performance, Process, Presence, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi (2017); Hassan Sharif, La Patinoire Royale, Bruxelles (2017, solo); Objects and Files, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha (2016, solo); Le corps humain comme principe universel, gb agency, Paris (2015, solo); Hassan Sharif, Alexander Gray Associates, New York (2015, solo); Une Histoire, MNAM, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2014-2016); Trade Routes, Hauser & Wirth, London (2013); 18th Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney (2012); Experiments & Objects 1980-2012, Qasr Al Hosn, Cultural Quarter Hall, Abu Dhabi (2011, solo).
Hassan Sharif was an Emirati artist who lived and worked in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Hassan Sharif made a major contribution to conceptual art and experimental practice in the Middle East over the course of 40 years of performance, installation, drawing, painting and assemblage.
Sharif studied at the Byam Shaw School of Art in London in 1980. At this time, he was strongly influenced by British Constructionism, particularly by Kenneth Martin’s notion of “chance and order”.
Throughout his career, Sharif would create objects while challenging their forms by combining works on paper and painting into a final assemblage, ultimately using the form to create more figurative works as a result. Toward the end of his life, Sharif began working with large-scale reproductions of commonplace images and illustrations found in popular books and dictionaries.