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Drawing Papers 150

Ibrahim El-Salahi: Pain Relief Drawings

The exhibition publication Ibrahim El-Salahi: Pain Relief Drawings features drawings from El-Salahi's latest series, titled Pain Relief. Drafted on the back of medicine packets, pill bottle labels, envelopes, and scraps of paper, El-Salahi’s intricate pen and ink Pain Relief drawings serve as a form of respite for the 92-year-old artist, who finds diversion from his chronic pain through his daily drawing practice.

Born in 1930 in Omdurman, Sudan, Ibrahim El-Salahi is one of the most significant artists in African and Arab modernism. A British citizen for decades, El-Salahi’s drawings are deeply connected to postwar European modernism, but also are profoundly embedded in a tradition of African and Islamic art history. After studying at the Slade School of Art in London, El-Salahi returned to Khartoum in the late 1950s to become a founding member of the celebrated Khartoum School, a bellwether group of artists that represented the flowering of modernism in the Islamic world. Inspired by Arabic calligraphy, as well as Surrealist figuration and geometric abstraction, El-Salahi created a distinctive visual language that he expresses most prolifically in drawing.


  • Year 2022
  • Contributors Laura Hoptman, Hassan Musa
  • Artists Ibrahim El-Salahi
  • Binding Paperback
  • Size 6 x 9 inches
  • Pages 157
  • Designed By Dandelion

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  • Ibrahim El-Salahi: Pain Relief Drawings