Shadi Al-Atallah (b. 1994, Saudi Arabia)
Lives and works in London, UK.
Al-Atallah creates large-scale figurative paintings: the dark and dynamic figures depicted in their mixed-media work are distorted self-portraits of the artist that capture the absurdity of conflicting emotional states. Their work explores the performativity of cathartic spiritual practice by drawing connections between the Queer ballroom scene and folkloric dance traditions from African diasporic communities in the Arabian Peninsula.
Working in rapid motions and strokes, Shadi works fast to avoid their thoughts slipping, contending with their own cognition and memory. Each painting documents a single hazy moment in time, examining the space between the mundane and the spiritual.
Shadi makes use of paint to escape from the constraints of language. Painting allows them to invent genderless figures, ones that embody an ambiguity that language rarely grants. This ambiguity is used to question Shadi’s own ideas on gender and sexuality. Obscurity also allows breathing room for the viewer to connect with the artwork.
2021 MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London, UK
2018 BA Illustration, University of the Arts, London, UK
2021 I LOST THE TITLE ON THE PLANE, Guts Gallery, London, UK
2019 'Fuck I’m Stuck!', J Hammond Projects, London, UK
2018 Roadblocks, Cob Gallery, London, UK
2021 Victoria Miro x OUT Collective, Vortic XR, Virtual
2021 Reality Check, Guts Gallery, London, UK
2021 Guts Gallery Introducing, Sadie Coles HQ, London, UK
2020 Begin Again, Guts Gallery, London, UK
2020 Paintings on, and, with paper, Cob Gallery, London, UK
2020 When Shit Hits the Fan, Guts Gallery, London, UK
2020 NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT, Public Gallery, London, UK
2020 Alter Ego, Unit London, London, UK
2019 The Head The Hand, Blank Projects, Cape Town, South Africa
2019 Absinthe, Collectivending, Spit and Sawdsut, London, UK
2018 BBZ BLK BK, Copeland Gallery, London, UK
2020 Eating at the Same Table x Fuck I’m Stuck, London, UK
2018 Insights: Beyond Gender, Tate Modern, London, UK
2019 “Intersect”, Cambridge Univeristy Queens’ Art Festival, Cambridge, UK
2019 CommuneEAST x Selfridges, London, UK
2018 LDN WMN, Tate Collective, public commission, London, UK
2021 ‘The Black Recovery Stories’, The New York Times Style Magazine
2020 ‘Black Futures’ Anthology, Oneworld Publications