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Ali Omar Ermes


Ali Omar Ermes is a painter, writer and poet who was born in Tripoli, Libya, in 1945 and educated in Libya and the UK. He now lives in England, where he is Chairman of the Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre, London.

In his more than 40-year career, Ali Omar Ermes has exhibited extensively internationally in more than 60 solo and group exhibitions. A short selection of his most recent group shows includes "The Line of Beauty", Rose Issa Projects, London (2011); “Exhibitionism: The Art of Display” at The Courtauld Institute of Art, Somerset House, London (2010-2011); “Perspectives: Arab and Iranian Modern Masters”, Phillips de Pury & Company at the Saatchi Gallery, London (2009); “Letters”, Mont Blanc Arabic and Calligraphy Exhibition in association with UNICEF, The Dubai Mall (2009); “Mediterraneo: A Sea That Unites – An Exhibition by Artists of the Mediterranean Coastal States”, Italian Cultural Institute, London (2008); “Re-Orientations: Contemporary Arab Representations", European Parliament, Brussels (2008); “Word Into Art”, the British Museum, London (2006); “The Dance of Pen and Ink: Contemporary Art of the Middle East”, at the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg and the State Museum of Oriental Art, Moscow (2006-7); The National Museum of African Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington DC (2006); “East-West: Objects between Cultures”, Tate Britain, London; “Word into Art”, The British Museum, London (2006); “Mightier than the Sword”, Ian Potter Museum, Melbourne (2003); “Journeys & Destinations: Contemporary African Artists on the move”, Smithsonian Museum Institute, Washington DC (2003); “Artistas Por La Paz”, The Islamic Cultural Centre, Madrid (2002); “Master Strokes: Contemporary Calligraphic Art from the Islamic World”, The October Gallery, London (2002); “Contemporary Arab Art”, Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands (2001-2002); and “Spring Lines: Contemporary Calligraphy from East and West”, The Edward Johnston Foundation, Ditchling Museum, Ditchling and The Prince’s Foundation, London (2001).

His most recent solo shows were at the Meem Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2010); Dar Al Funoon and Meem Gallery, Kuwait City (2008); Meem Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2007); Ghaf Gallery, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2007); ‘Jinass’, Christie’s Gallery, London (2005); Leighton House Museum, London, UK (2003); SOAS - School of Oriental and African Studies, London (2001).

His highly sought-after works feature in several public and private institutions around the world, including the British Museum, London; The Collection of the British Government, 10 Downing Street, London; Kensington and Chelsea Council, London; The Prince’s Trust, London; Ashmolean Museum, Oxford; The National Museum for African Art and the Sackler Gallery at The Smithsonian Museum, Washington; The American Embassies of Bahrain, Riyadh and Dacca; Wereld Museum, Rotterdam, Holland; The National Gallery of Jordan, Amman; Beit Al Quran, Bahrain; Arab Heritage Galleries, Khubar, Saudi Arabia; Royal Collection of the Sultanate of Oman; The Libyan Department of Culture, Tripoli; BP, UK; Muslim Development Bank, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Aramco Oil Co, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; King Fahad International Airport, Saudi Arabia; Mobil Oil, Riyadh; Investcorp, Bahrain; and Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia.

He has featured in the monographs “Ali Omar Ermes in Context: Modern Islamic Art - Islamic Calligraphy - Contemporary Islam” by Venetia Porter (Art Advisory Associates, 2003); “Ali Omar Ermes: Art and Ideas”, edited by Sajid Rizvi (Saffron Books, 1992); “Ali Omar Ermes: Modern Middle Eastern Art” edited by Charles Pocock (Art Advisory Associates (2008); and “Reaching Out: Conversations on Islamic Art with Ali Omar Ermes” by Sajid Rizvi (Saffron Books, 1994).

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