Abdulnasser Gharem is a conceptual artist who operates over a multitude of fields, challenging the perception of art and visual culture in his native Saudi Arabia. His work comprises photography, video, performance and sculpture, examining the nature of life in the modern day. In his performances, he playfully uses the street as a canvas to construct a social critique, often by welcoming collaboration and involving the community within his projects. As a Lieutenant Colonel in the Saudi Army, themes of control and authority can be felt within this work, as well as a desire to preserve and respect the history upon which traditional art is built. Gharem, therefore, presents conceptual work that not only references heritage, but also is also politically and socially astute.
Born in 1973, Gharem attended the King Abdulaziz Academy and the Leader Institute in Riyadh before studying at the Al-Meftaha Arts Village in Abha. Following his record-breaking sale at Christie’s in 2011, Gharem helped found the nonprofit arts organization Edge of Arabia to help promote arts education and to give an international platform to contemporary Saudi artists. His works are housed in public collections across Europe and the Middle East and he has exhibited at the Venice, Sharjah and Berlin biennales.
Solo exhibitions for the artist include Edge of Arabia, London (2013); Side by Side Gallery, Berlin (2013); XVA Gallery, Dubai (2010); King Fahd Art Village, Abha (2006, 2004) and Atelier, Jeddah (2004, 2003). Group exhibitions include Ikono On Air Festival, online and broadcasted (2013); Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2012-13); Edge of Arabia, London (2012); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2012); British Museum, London (2012); Katara Galleries, Doha Qatar (2012); Contemporary Istanbul (2012) and the Venice Biennale (2011).