Physician turned artist, Ahmed Mater is one of the most significant cultural voices documenting and scrutinising the realities of contemporary Saudi Arabia. His practice embraces the paradoxes of science and faith. Entwining expressive and politically engaged artistic aims with the scientific objectives of his medical training, he fuses the two realms to explore their connections and contradictions. Employing broad research-based investigative techniques, Mater assesses the Kingdom’s social, economic and religious condition, mining and preserving disregarded and forgotten narratives through expansive documentary ambles. His surveillances are also distilled into compacted conceptual scenarios, nodes that tug at the dense strands of the Kingdom’s past, present and future, conjuring and contemplating modernisation and tradition, religion and globalisation.

He lives and works between Riyadh, Jeddah and Abha, Saudi Arabia.

 

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Latest Exhibitions

December 1,2017

Ahmed Mater Solo Show:

 

 

December 1, 2017 – April 8, 2018

Brooklyn Museum, New York USA

Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia Gallery of Contemporary Art, 4th Floor

 

Ahmed Mater: Mecca Journeys takes visitors through the holiest city in the Islamic world.

 

It presents a compelling portrait of the massive urban redevelopment now underway and its effects on residents and the millions of hajj pilgrims who travel there every year. Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has documented this unprecedented expansion for nearly a decade.

 

 

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September 23,2017

Ahmed Mater Solo Show:

 

 

September 23, 2017 – January 2018

San Gimignano, Italy

 

In this solo exhibition of recent and new works, Ahmed Mater scrutinises two systems structuring contemporary geopolitics – religion and natural resources. Through the prism of Saudi society, he demonstrates each system to be massive in both physical and conceptual reach, braided with economics, social transformation and, ultimately, control.

 

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August 25, 2017 – January 6, 2018

Cities of Conviction

Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, 
Salt Lake City

 

Both Makkah and Salt Lake City are spiritual centres for millions. Cities of Salt examines the parallels between urban and spiritual life in Saudi Arabia and the state of Utah and the people that live and work in these places.

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July 8 – October 1, 2017

Arab American National Museum, Detroit


Dearborn, Michigan and Saudi Arabia serve
as iconic social and cultural epicenters. Both
are geographic hubs of cultural and political
significance, and have strong influences both
near and far over social practices, regional
customs, and expressive forms.

 

 

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 March,2017

Desert of Pharan: Unnofficial Histories Behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca

During Dubai Art Week, Ahmed Mater launched his book, Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories Behind The Mass Expansion of Mecca at Alserkal Avenue. The launch was accompanied by an exhibition of the same series, curated by ATHR.

March–September 2016

 

Against the backdrop of the US Presidential election, renowned Saudi artist, Ahmed Mater presented his first U.S. solo exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. The exhibition explored economic, cultural and urban change in the  Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. ‘Symbolic Cities’ was on view at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery from 19 March - 18 September 2016.

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News

December 1,2017

  

 

December 1 2017 – April 8 2018

Brooklyn Museum, New York

 

 

This exhibition presents a compelling portrait of the massive urban redevelopment now underway and its effects on residents and the millions of hajj pilgrims who travel there every year. Saudi artist Ahmed Mater has documented this unprecedented expansion for nearly a decade.

The exhibition is anchored by monumental photographs from his project Desert of Pharan: Unofficial Histories Behind the Mass Expansion of Mecca, alongside large-scale videos and installations. In addition to showing the influx of wealth, photographs detail the lives of workers on constructions sites and of migrant groups.

 

 

 

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September 23,2017

Ahmed Mater's first solo show in Italy opened at Galleria Continua, San Gimignano in September. Running until January 2018, the exhibition presents recent and new works exploring religious, economic and environmental powerhouses. Scrutinising two systems structuring contemporary geopolitics – religion and natural resources, Mater looks through the prism of Saudi society to demonstrate each system to be massive in both physical and conceptual reach, braided with economics, social transformation and, ultimately, control.   

September 2017 – January 2018

San Gimignano, Itay

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December, 2016

Standing Rock

In a gesture of solidarity, Ahmed Mater joined the Sioux Indians in North Dakota as they stand firm against the pipeline destined to wound and decimate their reservation, hoisting flags of his work 'Evolution of Man' at the site.

 

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