Abbas Akhavan's practice ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video and performance. The domestic sphere, as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of research in Akhavan’s work. More recent works have shifted focus, wandering onto spaces just outside the home – the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.
Residencies include Atelier Calder (France), Foundation Marcelino Botin with Mona Hatoum (Spain), Le Printemps de Septembre (France), Trinity Square Video, Western Front, and Fogo Islands (Canada), The Watermill Center (USA), and The Delfina Foundation (Dubai, UAE & London, UK).
Solo exhibitions include variations on a garden, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland (2017); Abbas Akhavan, Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany (2017); variations on a garden, David Roberts Art Foundation, London, UK (2017); Study for a Curtain The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2015); variations on a garden, Mercer Union, Toronto, Canada (2013); Study for a Garden, Delfina Foundation, London (2012).
Selected group exhibitions include A Poethical Wager, MOCA Cleveland (2017); Disappearing Act, Thames Art Gallery, Toronto Canada (2017); The Uses of Art, SALT Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (2017); Tamawuj: Sharjah Biennial 13 (2017); Making Nature: How we see animals, Wellcome Collection, London, UK (2016); But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, USA (2016); Common Grounds, Museum Villa Stuck, Munich, Germany (2015); Accented, Maraya Art Center, Sharjah, UAE (2015); The politics of food, Delfina Foundation, London, UK (2014); Agora, 4th Athens Biennale, Athens, Greece (2013); Tactics for Here & Now, Bucharest Biennale, Romania (2012); Tools for Conviviality, Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Beacon, Darling Foundry, Montreal (2012); Phantomhead, Performa 11, New York (2011); Seeing is Believing, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011).
Abbas is the recipient of Kunstpreis Berlin (2012); Abraaj Capital Art Prize (2014) and Sobey Art Award (2015). His work has been featured in the Gwangju Biennale (2014) and the Montreal Biennale (2014).
His works can be found in private and public collections around the world, including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; UBS Investment Bank; The Farook Collection, Dubai, UAE; and Alma Mater Society: University of British Columbia, Canada.
He lives and works in Toronto, Canada.