Maitha Abdalla Emirati, b. 1989



Emirati multi-disciplinary artist, Maitha Abdalla’s, practice combines film, photography, sculpture, painting, drawing and performance. 


Abdalla harnesses the performative and constructed character of the theatre to tackle themes that range from folklore and mythology to gender, social conditioning and psychology. For the artist, the theatre is a space where she might confront and destabilize that which she has encountered in her social world, her imaginations, memories and fantasies at an objective distance. The artist’s fantastical scenes shift between abstraction and representation and are charged with drama and melancholy. Abdalla’s art forms an ongoing investigation into the self. She constructs characters that embody a distinct vector of her persona often constrained within tight domestic spaces that expose their vulnerability. 


For Abdalla, her process is a continuation of the performance. She employs a bodily approach to painting, often applying dense layers of oil and acrylic paint with her fingertips and tracing around her own figure with gestural smears of charcoal.


2015, Zayed University, Bachelor of Visual Arts, Abu Dhabi, UAE



2022, INT. The Body - Sunrise, Cromwell Place, London
2021, Scars by Daylight, Tabari Artspace, Dubai, UAE
2019, Hollowed, Warehouse 421, Abu Dhabi, UAE  



2023, Evaporating Suns, KBH. G Foundation, Basel, Switzerland

2022, Beyond Emerging Artists, Palazzo Franchetti, Venice, Italy

2021, Scars by Daylight, exhibited as part of Beyond: Emerging Artists with Abu Dhabi Art Fair, Cromwell Place, London,UK

2020, Boudoir, Video performance, group exhibition, Abu Dhabi Art, UAE

2020, Boudoir, Video performance, group exhibition, PIworks Gallery, London, England

2019, Cuadro Gallery group exhibition Dubai International Financial district, Dubai, UAE

2019, Co-Curated Bait Juma Group Exhibition, BAIT15 Abu Dhabi, UAE 

2019, BAIT15 Art Dubai UAE NOW, Dubai, UAE

2019, Dynasty, Group exhibition, F6 Gallery, Al Serkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE

2018, The alumni show, group exhibition, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2016, Noah’s Ark, Co-Curating The 34th annual exhibition, Fine Arts Society, Sharjah, UAE

2016, In Her Dreams, Fine Arts Society, The 34th annual exhibition, Sharjah, UAE

2016, We Can’t See, Abu Dhabi Art, group exhibition, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2015, The Dance of Life, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi, UAE

2015, The Dance of Life, European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium


2024, Art Dubai, UAE

2023, Asia Now, Paris, France

2023, Art Dubai, UAE
2022, Art Dubai, UAE

2021, Abu Dhabi Art, Beyond Emerging Artists 


2023-24, AlUla Artist Residency Programme, KSA
2022, Cité Internationale Des Arts Artist residency, Paris

2022, An Effort, SoHo, London

2020, In Conversation, Art Dubai

2020, In The Round, Abu Dhabi Art

2020, In The Studio, Guggenheim Abu Dhabi

2019, ADMAF Visual Arts Residency Programme, Vaduz, Liechtenstein and Vienna, Austria

2016-2017, SEAF-Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation + Rhode Island School of Design Abu Dhabi, Providence & New York

2015, Sheikha Manal Arts Awards, Dubai, UAE 



2022, Creating an Artistic Language That FLows Between Fantasy and Reality, WOMENA
2022, Selections, Beyond: Emerging Artists At La Biennale Di Venezia

2021, Culured, Abu Dhabi's Cultural DNA Is Evolving—Emerging Artists' Work Proves It

2021, Ocula, Maitha Abdalla's Storytelling Invokes Lynch, Dzama, and Emirati Folklore

2021, The National, Gulf galleries at Cromwell Place bring the best of Abu Dhabi Art to London: a review

2020, Financial Times, The art-buying habits of New Yorkers revealed

2020, Financial Times, UAE Becomes an Incubator to Help Careers of Local Emerging Artists

2018, Abu Dhabi's secret, BBC Travel