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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

Solo Exhibitions
2023      Upcoming, Steve Turner, Los Angeles, USA

2023      Fistfight, Guts Gallery, London, UK

2022      Waters That Never Quench, Steve Turner, Los Angeles, USA

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

Museum Shows

2023      Dreaming of Home, The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art, New York, USA 

2023     Unruly Bodies, Goldsmiths CCA, London, UK

Group Exhibitions

2023      Saints and Sinners, Guts Gallery, London, UK

2022      Somatic Markings, Kasmin Gallery, New York, USA

2022      Figuring, Steve Turner Gallery. LA, USA

2022      And this Skin of Mine, To Live Again a Second Time, London, UK

2022      What Now PM/AM, 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

Public Talks
2020      Eating at the Same Table x Fuck I’m Stuck, London, UK
2018      Insights: Beyond Gender, Tate Modern, London, UK

Public Projects
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

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