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Biography

Alia Ali (Arabic: عاليه علي // Sabean: ‎ 𐩲𐩱𐩡𐩺𐩲|𐩲𐩱𐩡) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-US multi-media artist whose work explores cultural binaries, challenges culturally sanctioned oppression, and confronts the dualistic barriers of conflicted notions of gender, politics, media, and citizenship. Working between language, photography, video, textile, and installation, Ali’s work addresses the politicization of the body, histories of colonization, imperialism, sexism, and racism through projects that take pattern and textile as their primary motif.

Textile, in particular, has been a constant in Ali’s practice. Her strong belief that textile is significant to all of us, reminds us that we are born into it, we sleep in it, we eat on it, we define ourselves by it, we shield ourselves with it, and eventually, we die in it. While it unites us, it also divides us physically and symbolically. Her work broadens into immersive installations utilizing light, pattern, and textile to move past language and offer an expansive, experiential understanding of self, culture, and nation.

Ali’s research and practice are also informed by discourses of criminality, Yemeni Futurism, and feminist theory, all of which are tools to unpack practices of refusal and rupture. Ali calls upon oral histories to conceptualize these narratives, while reflecting on contemporary circumstances, in her native land Yemen, her adopted land the United States and the endless places and people that continue to inspire her. Ali is currently expanding her practice by drawing on stories from Yemen including the nostalgic past of Queen Belquis of Saba (also known as the Queen of Sheba). By investigating histories of the distant past, she addresses the realities of the dystopian present in order to carve out spaces for radically imagined possibilities for the future in what has evolved to be Yemeni Futurism.

Ali is a graduate of Wellesley College and the California Institute of the Arts. She lives and works in and between New Orleans, Paris and Jaipur and is the recipient of the prestigious ARTSY Vanguard Emerging Artist Award and is a NIKON Global Ambassador.

CV

Education

  • MFA, Photography & Media, California Institute of the Arts, 2020
  • BA, Political Science (Middle Eastern Studies) and Studio Art, Wellesley College, 2009

Select Solo Exhibitions

Wanderlust, Octavia Gallery, High Line, New York, April 2023

Frequencies, Galerie Peter Sillem, Frankfurt, November 2023

Al Falak, commissioned work by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, 2021-23

Blue Note, Foto Relevance, Houston, TX, 2022

Flow, Galerie Peter Sillem, Frankfurt, Germany, 2021 Vocal Motifs, Contour Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 2021

Mot(if), 193 Gallery, Paris, France, 2021

Patterned Paradigms, Octavia Gallery, New Orleans, 2021

Cartographies of Pattern, Foto Relevance, Houston, 2021

Refracted Futures, curated by Aubrey Hobart, Roswell Museum of Art, 2021

Project 93: Alia Ali, curated by Rebecca McGrew with Hannah Grossman, Benton Museum of Art, 2020

Art Fairs

  • PhotoLONDON, Galerie Peter Sillem, May 2023
  • EXPO Chicago, Foto Relevance, April 2023
  • Wynwood Art, Octavia Gallery, January 2023
  • Palm Beach Contemporary + Design, February 2023
  • ZonaMACO, February 2022
  • Photo Basel, June 2021
  • UNSEEN, 2021
  • Art Paris, 2021 and '22
  • Scope Miami, 2021

Residencies

  • Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, MI, 2021-22
  • Roswell Artist Residency (RAIR), Roswell, NM, 2020-21
  • Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR, 2018Dana Hall Artist-in-Residence Program, Wellesley, MA, 2018
  • Space Gallery, Portland, ME, 2017
  • True/False Residency, Columbia, MI, 2017
  • Indochina Arts Partnership, Hanoi, Vietnam, 2016
  • Paradise AiR, Matsudo, Japan, 2016
  • Obra Artist Residency, Casa Colonial, Oaxaca, Mexico, 2016
  • Le 18, Marrakech, Morocco, 2015

Awards and Grants

  • ARTSY Vanguard Emerging Artist Awards, 2021-22
  • Andrew Mellon Foundation Grant, 2021
  • NIKON Emerging Art Award, 2021 Creative Activism Award, Cultures of Resistance Network, 2022
  • Foundation of Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant, 2020
  • Bartman Grant, California Institute of the Arts, 2020
  • Photographer of the Year, Chromatic Awards, 2020
  • Bartman Grant, CalArts, 2019
  • Allan Sekula Social Documentary Grant, 2019
  • Lillian Disney Scholarship, CalArts, 2018
  • Clyde & Co. Artist of the Year, 2018
  • Emerging Artist of the Year, Magenta Foundation, 2017
  • Fine Art Category: Gold Award, Tokyo International Foto Awards, 2016
  • Abstract Category: Silver, Tokyo International Foto Awards, 2016
  • LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards, 2016
  • Alice C. Cole '42 Distinguished Alumna Award, Wellesley College, 2016
  • Juror's Awards, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards, 2016

Publications

  • Unraveling Women's Art, P.L. Henderson, Aurora Metro, London, UK. 2021
  • Recoding the Archive: Memory and Identity in the Photographic and Filmic Works of Shirin Neshat, Shoja Azari, and Alia Ali, Olivia K. Johnson, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. 2020
  • Project Series 53: Alia Ali, مهجر / Mahjar, Benton Museum of Art, Claremont, Los Angeles, California, USA. 2020
  • Migrations, Arts Cabinet, King's College, London, United Kingdom. 2019-2020
  • I Am Catalogue, Caravan Arts. 2018 BORDERLAND, published by Blue Sky Publishing, Portland, Oregon. 2018

Lectures and Workshops

  • Artist Talk, Refracted Futures, Roswell Artist-in-Residence, Anderson Museum, Roswell, New Mexico, May 12, 2021
  • Decolonizing Narratives in Art: Alia Ali & Holiday Powers, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), Doha, Qatar, April 7, 2021
  • The Cross Cultural Female Gaze, conversation with artists Alia Ali, Lita Albuquerque, and Rania Matar. Moderated by Manal Ataya, Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority, Intersect21, Palm Springs, California, February 18, 2021
  • Workshop, [re]Presenting the Archive. University of Western New Mexico, Silver City, New Mexico, USA, March 4, 2021
  • "Alia Ali: Project Series 53" Book Launch with Michael Rakowitz and Kimberly Varella, Benton Museum of Art, Claremont, CA. November 19, 2020
  • Phantoms, Ruins, Reflections: Contemporary Art From Yemen, Alia Ali in conversation with Hans Grundberg, Ambassador of the European Union to Yemen, Sama’a Al Hamdani, Founder and Director of The Yemen Cultural Institute for Heritage & the Arts and exhibition curator, moderated by Khadija al-Salami, award-winning Yemeni filmmaker, European Union High Commission, Brussels, Belgium. November 17, 2020
  • Artist Talk, Fowler Museum, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA, January 22, 2020
  • "The Changing Same: New Diaspora Aesthetics in the Americas," Anna Mecugni, University of New Orleans; Andrea Gyorody, Allen Memorial Art Museum, Oberlin College; and Matthew Francis Rarey, Oberlin College. Moderated by Allison Young, Louisiana State University. College Art Association (CAA) Conference, Chicago, Illinois, February 22, 2020
  • In Flux, Curator Katie Pfohl and Artist Alia Ali in conversation, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, March 13, 2020
  • In Conversation with Venetia Porter of the British Museum in London, Galerie Peter Sillem, Frankfurt, Germany, November 3, 2019
  • "Power of Pattern" in conversation with Clarissa Esguerra, Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, California, June 26, 2019
  • Intersectionality, Inequality, and Collective Action, Panel. Occidental College, Los Angeles, California, February 5, 2019
  • Artist Talk, Histories of Photography, CalArts, Valencia, California, May 8th, 2019
  • I Speak in Image, Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, June 8, 2019
  • Alia Ali & Sueraya Shaheen in Dialogue, Katzen Museum, American University, Washington D.C., December 1, 2018
  • Distinguished Alumna Lecture, Wellesley College Art Department, Wellesley, Massachusetts, September 21, 2017
  • Art is Power, Keynote by Alia Ali. Opening of the "I AM" exhibition, curated by Janet Rady, Caravan Arts, Katzen Art Center, American University, Washington D.C., September 8, 2017
  • An Untold Story: The Role of Women in Art & Peace-building in the Middle East, Panel with Lulwa al Khalifa, Helen Zughaib and Lyne Sneige, moderated by Neda Ulaby. Middle East Institute. Washington DC. September 7, 2017
  • Into the Image, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, 2016

Collections

  • Anderson Museum of Art, Roswell, New Mexico
  • Arab American National Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
  • Arles Art Collection, Arles, France
  • Benton Museum of Art, Claremont, CA
  • The British Museum, London, UK
  • DekaBank, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
  • New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
  • Princeton University, Princeton, NJ
  • Progressive Art Collection, New York, NY
  • Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, AZ
  • Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
  • Vontobel Bank, Switzerland
  • KRC Collection, Netherlands

Acknowledgements

It is essential to make the invisible, visible. I am not a brand, but an artist: a human, a maker, a community engager, an artist. I am a part of collective that transgresses borders to be in a constant creative dialogues addressing traumas and transforming them into experiences of beauty. My work, inspired and in conjunction with the skills of others, forth knowledge, care, support, time, labor, patience and love in order to propose new and expansive ways of exchange. that which once seemed inconceivable. It is with enormous gratitude to all of you for continuing to bringing the inconceivable to others in order to engage, entertain and to imagine potentialities of multiple existencies, narratives and futures.

Thank you to you all.

Studio Alia Ali

Aamir Ansari, Production Manager, Jaipur

Keland Jackson, Apprentice, New Orleans

Cameron Wood, Studio Lighting, New Orleans

Katy Dresner, Documentation, Detroit

Virginie Parant, ArtTECH Law, Global

Grady Lloyd, CPA, New Orleans

My patrons who continue to support the development of my practice

Textile Production: Dyeing, Tailoring, Printing, Embroidery and Ironing

Priya Bhatra, Project Liaison, Jaipur

Sanjay Dhanopia, Bhatra Studio Production Manager, Jaipur

Mohammed Islam, Master Artisan, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Mohammed Shaan, Master Artisan, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Mohammed Asif, Master Artisan, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Mohammed Bilal, Master Artisan, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Mohammed Wasim, Master Artisan, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Mohammed Salan, Master Artisan, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Ramesh Chand, Master Tailor, Textiles & Printing, Jaipur

Lalli Lal, Master Tailor, Jaipur

Kedar Choudary, Master Tailor, Jaipur

Masterji Ramprasad Choudary, Textile Tailor, Jaipur

Masterji Rajendra Kumar, Textile Printing, Jaipur

Rakesh Nayak, Ironing, Jaipur

Remijio Mestas, Oaxaca, Mexico

Bau Trek, Tapin, SAPA, Vietnam

Ta May, Taphin, SAPA, Vietnam

Vale and Fatima Nasrudine, Margillon, Uzbekistan

Anil Modi, Sarah Fabric, Jaipur

Deepak Meshwari, Mangalam, Jaipur

Mustajab Ali, Master Gold and Silver Embroidery, Jaipur

Dedi Sufriyadi, Yogyakarta

Kenji San, Kyoto

Abdellatif Rharbaoui, Elizir, Essaouria

Sitters

Ali Radman, Maria Beitz, Manny Delgado Rodriguez, Alia Ali

Printing and Lamination

Elisabeth Hering, Artist Liaison, PICTO, Paris

Christophe Batifoulier, Master Printer, PICTO, Paris

Pascal Brunel, Color Correction, PICTO, Paris

Laouen Goareguer, Mounting & Lamination, PICTO

Cameron Wood, Printer, New Orleans

POV Printing, Los Angeles

Fabrication, Carpentry

Dan Alley, Denali Art Solutions, New Orleans

John Craun, Frame Fabrication, Denali Art Solutions, New Orleans

Chris Herbeck, Frame Fabrication, Denali Arts Solutions, New Orleans

Michael Beitz, Frame Fabrication, Roswell

Anja Otto, Buchbinderei Otto, Frankfurt

Ken Nahan, Nahan Fine Art Framing, New Orleans

Fabrication, Carving

Lacchu Ram Verma, Master Lapis Carver, Jaipur

Fabrication, Metal

Abe Grassland, Denali Arts Solutions, Roswell

Juan Martinez, Detroit

Shiyam Bhatia, Jaipur

Graphic Design, Website and Programming

Alex Lin, Designer, Studio Lin, Brooklyn

Noah Beckwith, Designer, Studio Lin, Brooklyn

Lukas Eigler-Harding, Website Programming, Berlin

Art Installation, Handling and Shipping

Manon Strack, Zanzibar Shipping, Paris

Heinz Deibel, Galerie Peter Sillem, Frankfurt

Jimmie Dacyunan, Craters & Freighters, New Orleans

Bobby St. Romain, New Orleans

Hind Ouida, Marrakech

Hicham Dahouni, Marrakech

Salim El Hamdoui, Marrakech

Sanita Anthony, Mumbai

Documentation

Suzanne Zeller, Houston

Katy Dresner, Detroit

Ian Buyers-Gamber, Los Angeles

Flannery Barney, Roswell

Animation & Rendering

Chen Wang, Elsa Zhang

Writers and Editors

Jad Dahshan, Nadia Beard, Andre Nafis-Sahely, Allison Young, Rosa Boshier

NIKON

Julian Harvie, Elizabeth Ellis and the Global NIKON Family

Family, Mentors & Direct Patrons

Ali & Fawzia Radman, Carmela Rapazzo, Mark Carroll, Stephen Direnza, Maryam Eisler, Sabina Khilnani, Vanessa Branson, Agathe Bodin, Michael Rakowitz, Samar Allamadani, Smyrne Delmas, Bakul Patki, JJ Harder, Harsch Sood, Charles Archer, Lynnette Bolembo, Astha Thapa, Sueraya Shaheen, Ashley Hunt, Cauleen Smith, Mercedes Dorame, Charles Gaines, Paul Sepuya, Mina Ananth, Pavan Ananth, Tina Barouti, Sara Shaer, Karen Beem, Manal Attaya, Oscar Corona, Michael Wilkinson, Cole Halpbern, Clarissa Esguerra, Nevin Alpan-Gungor, Layla Attac, Hamide Koz, Nedret Burcuoğlu, David and Kassie Teng Olsen, Deepti Thakur, Salem Mekuria, Louise Marlow, Rachid Aadnani, Akram Rida, Amanda Saxe-Barr, Luca Bogoni, Leila, Claudi and Arab Hoballah, Andrea Santolaya, Anissa Bouzianne, Ieva Raudsepa, Alexa Rice, Diego Feldman, Lilah and Emory McQuilken, Nina Sillem, Ida Sillem, Karl Sillem, Leonardo Bravo, Alex Conti, Alessa Herbosch, Medina Dugger, Larrybob Phillips, Danielle and Ricardo Cozzolino, Nancy Flemming, Mustafa Akrim

Contact

Studio Alia Ali

love@alia-ali.com @studio.alia.ali

Benrubi Gallery 529 W 20th St Floor 8, New York, NY 10011 (rachel@benrubigallery.com / renee@benrubigallery.com)

Galerie Peter Sillem

Dreieichstraße 2, 60594 Frankfurt am Main, Germany (info@galerie-peter-sillem.com)

Octavia Art Gallery

700 Magazine St Ste. 103, New Orleans, LA 70130 (art@octaviaartgallery.com)

Downloads

In Collective Rise, z33 Contemporary Museum of Art & Design, 2022-23

Project Series 93: Alia Ali, Benton Museum of Art, 2020-22

Shades of Blue, essay by Allison Young, 2021

EN FR ES DE

Cartographies of Pattern, design by Suzanne Zeller, Foto Relevance, 2021

BORDERLAND, Blue Sky Gallery, design by Chris by Rauschenburg Foundation, 2017

Press

Last updated 15.2.23