Ahmed Mater is recognised as one of the most influential of Saudi Arabian artists today. He is also, as he puts it, a man of many masks. As well as being a qualified GP he is a landscape photographer and the face of one of the region’s largest mobile phone companies.

Born and raised in Abha, capital of Aseer (a region to the south of Saudi Arabia), Mater remains rooted in his Aseeri local identity. As well as leading a young artistic collective called Ibn Aseer (Son of Aseer), he is an integral part of the recent history of Abha’s Miftaha Arts Village, part of the King Fahad Cultural Centre.

Maters work, widely shown in the Middle East and in Europe and in the collection of the British Museum and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is informed by his education and life as a medical doctor, as well as by his traditional religious upbringing and Saudi culture. His work, which encompasses photography, calligraphy, painting, installation and video, explores the narratives and aesthetics of Islamic culture in an era of globalisation, consumerism and dramatic flux. A monograph on Ahmed Mater’s life and work was published internationally by Booth-Clibborn Editions in 2010.

Ahmed Mater
Ahmed Mater
Abha, 1979
Saudi Arabia

Past Exhibitions

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys

Brooklyn Museum
01/12/2017 — 08/04/2018

Ahmed Mater: Mitochondria: powerhouses

Galleria Continua
24/09/2017 — 07/01/2018

Continua Sphères Ensemble

Centquatre–Paris
16/09/2017 — 19/11/2017

The Restless Earth

Triennale di Milano
28/04/2017 — 20/08/2017

Solo Shows

2017
Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys, Brooklyn Museum, New York
Mitochondria: Powerhouses, Galleria Continua, San Gimigiano, Italy
Desert of Pharan, Alserkal Avenue, Dubai

2016
Evolution of Man at Standing Rock, North Dakota, USA
Symbolic Cities: The Work of Ahmed Mater, Smithsonian Freer Sackler Galleries Washington DC, USA

2013
100 Found Objects, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE

Group Shows

2017
Cities of Conviction, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City
Epicenter X, Arab American National Museum, Detroit, USE

2016
But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, Guggenheim, New York, USA
Phantom Punch, Bates Museum of Modern Art, Lewiston, USA

2015
Too Early Too Late: Middle East and Modernity, Pinacoteca Naziolnale, Bologna, Italy
Common Grounds, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany

2014
Here & Elsewhwere, New Museum, New York, USA
A-History, Pompidou Center, Paris, France
A Crisis of History, Framer Framed, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

2013
Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah Biennale 11, Sharjah, UAE
Echoes: Islamic Art and Contemporary Practice, Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, USA
Arab Contemporary: Architecture,Culture and Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk, Denmark

2013
View from Inside, Fotofest Biennale, Houston, USA
Homework 6, Ashkan Alwan, Beirut, Lebanon
Hajj: Journey to the Heart of Islam, Museum of Islamic Art, Doha, Qatar
Light from the Middle East, Victoria & Albert Museum , London, UK

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Abha Country of birth: Saudi Arabia Date of birth: 1979 Lives in: Abha, Saudi Arabia
W: Ahmed Mater M: info@ahmedmater.com