Mohamed Abdella Otaybi: The Lost Paradise: Circle Art Gallery
The Lost Paradise - A solo exhibition at Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi
29 June - 30 July, 2022
Otaybi graduated from the Khartoum College of Fine and Applied Arts and began working as an artist during the dynamic period of the 1970s in Sudan. He was immersed in the debates about cultural heritage and Sudanese visual identity of the Khartoum School at the time. Many of these debates are still significant in Sudan today, the combination of Africanism, Islam, Arabism and Sudanese identity.
Long recognised and acclaimed as an influential figure in Sudanese art, Otaybi’s painterly language has evolved throughout his career, consolidating his reputation and strength as a colourist. Architectural, decorative motifs and calligraphic forms populate his paintings. Layering hues to create depth and vibration add to the mythological and dreamlike quality of his paintings, which reference a cultural past. Otaybi is also a celebrated cartoonist and illustrator, and elements of his graphic and satirical approach often translate into his paintings.
As well as holding regular solo exhibitions in Khartoum, North Africa and the Arab world from 1970 to the present, he has shown in international group exhibitions including the Sharjah Biennial, UAE, 1993; Modernism in Sudanese Art, British Museum, London, 2004; Sudan: Emergence of Singularities, P21 Gallery, London, 2017 and Khartoum Contemporary, Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi, 2017 and 2022. His work features in private and public collections including the National Museum in Sharjah, UAE. In 2018, Otaybi was the focus of the article ‘Masters We Need to Master’, Collector Magazine, Art Africa.