Omar Kholeif

Omar Kholeif,  Director of Collections and Senior Curator at the Sharjah Art Foundation © Eric T. White
Omar Kholeif, Director of Collections and Senior Curator at the Sharjah Art Foundation © Eric T. White

Dr Omar Kholeif, FRSA, is a writer and curator who has curated more than 100 exhibitions, special projects and commissions globally.

Kholeif currently holds the position of Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation, where he oversees collection strategy, development and acquisition as well attendant exhibition, publishing and discursive opportunities. Among his many curatorial projects are Time, Forward!, V—A—C Foundation, 58th Venice Biennale (2019); Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber (2019); My Head Is Disconnected (the first retrospective of David Lynch’s art), Manchester International Festival, UK (2019); Focus: Drawing, Tracing and Mapping, Abu Dhabi Art (2019); Cyprus Pavilion, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); Abraaj Group Art Prize (2015); Focus: Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean, Armory Show, New York (2015) and Liverpool Biennial (2012). Before joining Sharjah Art Foundation, he was Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Curator at Whitechapel Gallery, London; and Senior Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester. He has also been the artistic director and a consultant for numerous international film festivals.

Kholeif has authored and/or edited more than two dozen books and catalogues on art, including recent publications Goodbye, World! Looking at Art in the Digital Age (Sternberg Press, 2018) and The Artists Who Will Change the World (Thames and Hudson, 2018).

He recently served as a Visiting Tutor at the Ruskin School of Art, University of Oxford. He has also taught at a number of universities, including the University of Chicago and Hunter College, New York.

He holds an MA from the University of Glasgow and the Royal College of Art, London, as well as a PhD from the University of Reading and the University of Arts Zurich.

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