Schwarz, 2018

Yousef Abdelké, installation view, Galerie Sfeir-Semler 2018

Youssef Abdelké (b. 1951, Qamischli, Syria) lives and works in Damascus, Syria. He studied at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Damascus and graduated in 1976 with a project on Black September - portraying the massacres of Palestinians in Jordan in September 1970- that revealed a militant artist who, ever since, relentlessly fights for freedom and denounces violence.

 

Known for his sympathies, and for his political activism, Abdelké was arrested for nearly two years in 1978, and then moved to Paris and graduated from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux- Arts in 1986 and from the Sorbonne Univeristy as a doctoral student in Fine Arts in 1989. Unable to return home, he lived and worked in exile in Paris for twenty-four years. In 2005, he decided to travel back to Damascus, and managed to safely get through border security; but in 2010 his passport was confiscated, and he was arrested again for five weeks in 2013.

 

Youssef Abdelké’s universe is black, and, despite the stillness of his drawings, overflowing with rage at injustice and abuse of power. His personal approach to perspective and his exploration of lines through drawing and etching reveals a multi-layered practice, that highlights the fragility of Men and unexpectedly celebrates human life.


Education


1989
PH.D. in Fine Arts, Sorbonne University, Paris, France

1986
Diploma in Etching, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux Arts Paris, France

1976
Faculty of Fine Arts Damascus, Syria

 

 

Selected Solo Exhibitions


2018
Schawrtz, Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Hamburg, Germany

2017
George Kamel Gallery, Damascus, Syria

2016
Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany

2014
Galerie Tanit, Munich, Germany

2002, 12, 14
Galerie Claude Lemand, Paris, France

2006
Henki Hall, Helsinki, Finland

2005
Khan Asaad Pasha; organized by Atassi Gallery, Damascus, Syria

2004
Zamalek Art Center - Akhnatoun Gallery, Cairo, Egypt
Galerie Akhenaton, Cairo, Egypt

2003
6th Chamaliéres International Triennial for Etching, France

2001
Al-Riwaq Art Gallery, Manama, Bahrain

2000
Hall of Faculty of Law, Sfax, Tunisia

1999
Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE

1995, ‘98
Atassi Gallery, Damascus, Syria

1987
Ornarina Art Gallery, Damascus, Syria

1974, ‘74
Al-Shaab Gallery, Damascus, Syria

1973
Al-Houriya Hall, Damascus, Syria


Selected Group Exhibitions


2015
Darat al Funun, Amman, Jordan

2011
Sharjah Biennial 10: Plot for a Biennial, Sharjah, UAE

2009
Paris, Damascus: Crossed Glances, National Museum of Damascus, Damascus, Syria

2008
Paris, Damascus: Crossed Glances, Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris, France
Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East, British Museum, London, UK

2007
Salon d’Automne, Paris, France

2001
Sharjah International Biennial, Sharjah, UAE
8th International Cairo Biennial, Cairo, Egypt

1997
Cracovia International Biennial for Etching, Poland
Chamalières International Triennial for Etching, France

1995
7th International Etching Biennial Taiwan

1976
Inter-graphic Triennial, Berlin, Germany

 

Museum Collections


The British Museum, London, UK
Institut de Monde Arabe, Paris, France
The National Museum of Kuwait, Kuwait City, Kuwait
Amman Museum of Modern Art, Amman, Jordan
Digne-Les-Bains Museum, France