Biography

The work of Abbas Akhavan (b. 1977, Tehran, Iran; lives/works: Montreal) ranges from site-specific ephemeral installations to drawing, video, sculpture and performance. The direction of his research has been deeply influenced by the specificity of the sites where he works: the architectures that house them, the economies that surround them, and the people that frequent them. The domestic sphere, which he proposes as a forked space between hospitality and hostility, has been an ongoing area of study in his practice. More recent works have wandered into spaces and species just outside the home: the garden, the backyard, and other domesticated landscapes.

 

Residencies include Fogo Island Arts, Fogo Island, (Canada); Walk&Talk, São Miguel, (Portugal), The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, (USA), 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; curtain call, variations on a folly, Chisenhale Gallery, London, UK (2021); script for an island, Fogo Island Arts, Fogo Island, Canada (2019); cast for a folly, The Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco, USA, (2019); Folly, Vie d’ange, Montreal, Canada (2018); variations on a landscape, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2018); Recently, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2018); 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).  

 

His work has been featured in selected group exhibitions including: Where We Go It Shall Be, Walk & Talk, Sao Miguel, Portugal (2021); Inventing Nature: Pflanzen in der Kunst, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany (2021); Once Upon a Time Inconceivable, Protocinema, Istanbul, Turkey (2021); Sensing Nature, Momenta Biennale at Phi Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada (2021); A Few in Many Places, Protocinema, Montreal, Canada (2020); There Is Fiction In The Space Between, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2020); Toronto Biennial of Art, Toronto, Canada (2019); Second Hand, Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, UAE (2019); Desertado. Algo que aconteceu pode acontecer novamente, Galeria Municipal do Porto, Porto, Portugal (2019); I Will See It, When I Believe It, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2019); But a Storm Is Blowing from Paradise, Galleria d’Arte Moderna Milano, Milan, Italy (2018); A Poethical Wager, MOCA Cleveland (2017); Disappearing Act, Thames Art Gallery, Toronto Canada (2017); The Uses of Art, SALT Galata, Istanbul, Turkey (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); Tactics for Here & Now, Bucharest Biennale, Romania (2012); Tools for Conviviality, Power Plant, Toronto (2012); Beacon, Darling Foundry, Montreal (2012); Seeing is Believing, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2011). 

 

Abbas is the recipient of Kunstpreis Berlin (2012); Abraaj Group Art Prize (2014); Sobey Art Award (2015); Fellbach Triennial Award (2016) and the Toronto Arts Council Mid-Career Grant (2017). His work has been featured in the Liverpool Biennial (2018); New Orleans Triennial (2017); Sharjah Biennial (2017); Gwangju Biennial (2014); Montreal Biennial (2014); Athens Biennial (2013); and in Performa, New York (2011).  

 

His works can be found in private and public collections around the world, including The Jameel Arts Centre, Dubai, UAE; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York; the Vancouver Art Gallery, Canada; UBS Investment Bank; The Farook Collection, Dubai, UAE; and Alma Mater Society: University of British Columbia, Canada.  

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