Rashid Al Khalifa

Rashid Al Khalifa is considered to be one of the most accomplished artists in Bahrain. Rashid Al Khalifa is working with grid patterns that has a tremendous cultural background in his country, but he does this in a very abstract way. An important subject in Rashids work is the light. The grid-structures let through light, but also build a barrier. They change while the viewer passes by them and create patterns of shadow. 

Born in 1952 in the Kingdom of Bahrain Rashid Al Khalifa began his career at an early stage when he painted landscapes in Bahrain and in England, where he went in 1972 to study at the Hastings College of Arts and Technology in Sussex. Through landscapes painting he understood the importance of light which became the main concern of his most recent work : make light experienceable. 

„On my return to Bahrain from England in 1978 I was preoccupied with painting desert landscapes that exemplified the beautiful luminosity and mysterious spacial effects“ Rashid said in an interview. In these early years he sticked to painting, experimented, tried out different techniques until he finally became disengaged from a naturalistic style in favour of abstract compositions. In this phase his attention was attracted to the play of colors and to their effect. After remaining true to the two-dimensional, the flat plane for a while, he broke through the framework of what was up-to-now. His work moved from the two-dimensional to the three-dimensional. They bulged forth from the wall and grew into the room. Towards the end of the 1990’s Rashid discovered the convex form for his own use.

The engagement with the convex form inspired Rashid Al Khalifa to incorporate materials other than canvas and paint. He began to use steel and aluminium . He works on the picture plane in its entirety, covers it with a complex filigreed, three dimensional network of lines, thus transforming it into a vibrating medium of light and space. Colour is added to many of these works. Rashid Al Khalifas objects consider also the „rules of repetition“, one of the most important principles of Islamic art. Because of their consistent, gridded structures and the selected substances, his objects suggest Minimalistic aesthetic with an austere seriality. Despite his vast vocabulary covering contemporary conceptions of design, Rashid is tied to the tradition of his origins and his culture and always returns to these longstanding influences and impressions.

Rashid has participated in a number of group and solo exhibitions, at major public and private instituions including MeCollector’s Room, Berlin, Germany, Saatchi Gallery, London, UK, Ayyam Gallery, Dubai, UAE or the Bahrain National Museum, Kingdom of Bahrain. His work is held in notable private collectiosn in Bahrain and internationally.





S O L O 


2019 In Parallel, Bait Muzna Gallery, Muscat, Oman 

2018 Penumbra: Textured Shadow, Coloured Light, Saatchi Gallery, London,        UK 

Hybrids, Ayyam Gallery, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai, UAE 

2012 Reflections, The Waterline Gallery, Bahrain Financial Harbour, Kingdom of Bahrain 

2010 Convex: A New Perspective, Bahrain National Museum, Kingdom of Bahrain 

1997 Art Department, Shuman Arts Organization, Amman, Jordan 

1996 De Caliet Gallery, Milan, Italy 

El Kato Kayyel Gallery, Milan, Italy 

1982 Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C., USA 

Sheraton Hotel, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain 

1970 Dilmun Hotel, Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain 


B I E N N A L S 


2019 Moscow Biennale, New Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia 

2017 Bridges, Grenada Pavilion, 57th Venice Biennale, Italy 

Out of Place, 3rd Mediterranean Biennale, Sakhnin Valley, Israel 

2015 Arab Delegation, TRIO Biennial, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil 

Nomi/Names Official Exhibition, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy 

The Eye of the Thunderstorm: Effervescent Practices from the Arab World, 

Official Collateral Event, 56th Venice Biennale, Italy


G R O U P E X H I B I T I O N S 


2019 Transverse Wave, me Collectors Room Berlin / Olbricht Collection, Berlin, Germany 

2017 Convergence: Royal Bridges, Ritz Carlton, Dubai, UAE 

2013 In Dialogue, The Waterline Gallery, Kingdom of Bahrain 


A R T F A I R S 


2019 Contemporary Istanbul, Turkey 

2014 WWALA, Los Angeles, USA 

Art Dubai, UAE 

2013 Zurich Art Fair, Switzerland 

Abu Dhabi Art, UAE 

Art Dubai, UAE 

2012 Abu Dhabi Art, UAE 

Beirut Art Fair, Lebanon 


B A H R A I N A R T S S O C I E T Y P A R T I C I P A T I O N 


2016 15/15, Shaikh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Center for Culture and Heritage, Muharraq, Kingdom of Bahrain 

Views, Ritz Carlton, Kingdom of Bahrain 

2014 Bahrain, Asilah Arts & Culture Forum, Morocco 

2013 Bahrain Contemporary Art, Russian Academy, Moscow, Russia

2007 Bahrain Contemporary Art, UNESCO, Paris, France 

2005 Modern Art Exhibition, Royal Ireland College of Surgeons, Dublin, Ireland 

2004 32nd Annual Art Exhibition, Bahrain National Museum, Kingdom of Bahrain 

2002 Bahrain Culture Week, Amman, Jordan 

Bahrain Culture Week, Peking, China 

1999 Taipei Art Exhibition, Taipei, Taiwan 

Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE 

Dilmun Exhibition, Paris, France 

1998 Bahrain Arts Society Exhibition, Gallery Alexander, Ladoux, France 

1997 Art Expo Singapore, Singapore 

Art America Exhibition, Miami, USA 

Europe Art Festival, Geneva, Switzerland 

Bahrain Arts Society Exhibition, Cannes, France 

1996 Europe Art Festival, Geneva, Switzerland 

Bahrain Artists Exhibition, Rome, Italy 

Sharjah Biennial, UAE

1995 Hotel Du Rond, Geneva, Switzerland 

World Trade Center, Lausanne, Switzerland 

1989 Bahrain Arts Society Exhibition, Cairo, Egypt 

1988 Festival of Asian Artists, Malaysia 

New Art Center, Baghdad, Iraq 

1986 First GCC Art Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan

1985 Cairo Biennial, Egypt

1984 Bahraini Artists Leighton House, London, England

Salon des Artistes Francais, Grand Palais, Paris, France

Mobile Column III

Mobile Column III

Rashid Al Khalifa
172 x 115 x 115 cm
enamel on stainless steel
mobile column 1

Mobile Column I

Rashid Al Khalifa
172 x 115 x 115 cm
enamel on stainless steel
Green Parametic

(Green Parametric) Untitled

Rashid Al Khalifa
150 x 150 cm
enamel on aluminium
Spectrum VII

Spectrum VII, Untitled

Rashid Al Khalifa
150 x 150 cm
enamel on aluminium