Multimedia artist Mohamed Abla uses paintings, sculptures, engravings, and installations to depict folklores and landscapes from the MENSA region while addressing contemporary social and political topics through complex layers. Abla pushes back against disciplinary boundaries, often combing different techniques such as the inclusion of lithography and collages into paintings, for example, as part of his joyful artistic experimentations.
After graduating from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria (1973), Abla embarked upon a seven-year journey around Europe, where he visited museums in Spain, France, Belgium and Germany, eventually studying art, sculpture and graphics in Vienna and Zurich.
His first solo exhibition ran at the Hohmann Gallery, Hamburg, Germany (1979), followed by shows at Gallery Ewat, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands (1989); Art Hall, Örebro, Sweden (1991) and the Egyptian Academy of Rome, Italy (1991), amongst others. In 1994 he won the First Prize at the Kuwait Biennial, followed by the Grand Prix at the Alexandria Biennale, Egypt in 1997. He has also participated in several international art events such as the Havana Biennial, Cuba and his work has been part of several group exhibitions at the Kunstmuseum in Bonn, Germany.
Abla has also founded several artistic institutions which connect artists locally, regionally and internationally through artistic creation. In 2007, Abla founded the Fayoum Art Center, Egypt, where artists meet, work and collaborate. In 2009, he established the first caricature museum in the Middle East, also in Fayoum.
1973, Graduated From The Faculty of Fine Arts in Alexandria (Painting)
1978, Beginning of Art and Scholastic trip in Europe
1980-82, Studied Graphics & Sculpture in Switzerland and Austria and opened a studio in Zurich for painting therapy
1985-87, Awarded a scholarship to study in Basel, Switzerland
2017, The Silk Road, Tabari Artspace, Dubai, UAE
2012, My Family, Tabari Artspace, Dubai, UAE
2007, Cairo, Tabari Artspace, Dubai, UAE
2004, Cairo...Portraits of a City, Zamalek Art Gallery, Cairo
2002, Conviviality--The Nile & the Trees, Zamalek Art Gallery, Cairo
1999, Scenes from Vermont (scenes from a 1998 visit), Gallery Arabesque
1998, The Nile, Goethe Institute, Cairo exhibited at Hart Gallery, Carmel, California
1995, Video Exhibition at El Hanager Cairo,Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo
1992, Exhibition for the Opening of Gallery Cairo, Berlin, Germay
1991, Exhibition, Art Hall Orebro-Sweden
1991, Exhibition, the Egyptian Academy, Rome
1989, Exhibition, Gallery Ewat, Lewarden, The Netherlands
1978-79, Solo Exhibition, Hohmann Gallery, Walsrode, Germany
2008, Exhibited in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Marseilles, France / Zamalek Art Gallery, "Labyrinth," Cairo, Egypt
2007, Exhibited in Occidentalism: The West as Seen by Egyptian Artists, Espace Karim Francis, Cairo
2006, Exhibition Contemporary Egyptian Art at the National Museum of Modern Art, Bonn, Germany
2005, Zamalek Art Gallery, "Nostalgia", Cairo / Group Exhibition, The British Museum, London/ Int'l Art Exhibition in Muscat, Oman, Exhibition of "30 Years of his Art," Gallery Hohman , Germany
1993, Graphic Exhibition at A.U.0 in Cairo/ Grenchan Graphic Triennials, Switzerland/ Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo
ART FAIRS AND BIENNIALS
2003, Havana Biennele, Cuba
1997, Grand Prize, Biennial of Alexandria
1996, First Prize Biennial-Kuwait Galerie Hohmann, Hamburg, Germany
1995, Cairo Biennial — adjoined work
1994, Erection of Sisyphus statue, at Walsrode, Germany
2021, Middle East Eye, Stones, masks and matches: A decade of Middle Eastern art. A new book by the British Museum's Middle East art curator Venetia Porter presents an eclectic set of artworks evoking the region's recent history