Ibrahim El-Salahi
Calligraphic Forms, 1989

Ibrahim El-Salahi, Calligraphic Forms, 1989

The artist

Ibrahim El-Salahi is a Sudanese artist who was born in 1930 in Omdurman, Sudan. He currently lives and works in Oxford, England. He combines painting and drawing often using motifs from African, Arab and Islamic art as well as Western references.

He completed his degree at the Slade School of Art in London and then returned to Sudan to teach in Khartoum. His time at the College of Fine and Applied Arts, there, sparked a movement now known as the Khartoum School of which El-Salahi was one of the founders.

El-Salahi also spent a number of years working for governments. He began by establishing the Sudanese Embassy’s first ever Department of Culture and then went on to work for the Ministry of Information in Qatar. In between these roles, El-Salahi spent just over six months wrongly imprisoned without trial in Sudan. The hardship he endured there has informed much of his later work. El-Salahi has been recognized as a leading modernist figure and had a retrospective at Tate Modern in 2013.

The work


More information

Ibrahim El-Salahi: The Pioneering Sudanese Artist That You Should Know, Artsy.

Ibrahim El-Salahi: The Father of African Modernism, Nick Hackworth, New African, October 2016.

Art in Context Africa, Part V: Ibrahim El-Salahi, The Sudan-born artist discusses the role of art in the social and political life of his homeland, Mark Rappolt, April 2015.