Shezad Dawood

Shezad Dawood is a multidisciplinary artist who interweaves stories, realities and symbolism to create richly layered artworks, spanning painting, textiles, sculpture, film and digital media. Fascinated by ecologies and architecture, his work takes a philosophical approach, asking questions and exploring alternative futures through what Dawood describes as ‘world-building’ and ‘imagineering’. His practice is animated by research, working with multiple audiences and communities to delve into narrative, history and embodiment. 

Selected solo exhibitions and commissions include: Leviathan: We go elsewhere, The Void, Derry (2023), Night in the Garden of Love: Inspired by & featuring Yusef Lateef, WIELS, Brussels (2023), Sea of Redemption, Shezad Dawood x Zien (2023), Integrations, Barakat Contemporary, Seoul (2023), HMS Alice Liddell, St Pancras Wires commission, London (2022); Hybrid Landscapes, Deutsche Bank Frieze Lounges (2022); Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2021); Visions of Paradise, commission for The White House, Becontree (2021); Concert From Bangladesh, commission for British Council Digital Collaboration Fund (2021); Timothy Taylor, London (2020-21); Kai Art Center, Tallinn (2020); New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2020); The Bluecoat Liverpool (2019); MOCA Toronto (2019); FriezeLIVE, London (2019); Kunstverein, Munich (2019); A Lost Future: Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2018); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016); Galerist, Istanbul (2016); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig.2 at the ICA studio, London (2015); Parasol Unit, London (2014); Leeds Art Gallery and OCAT Xi’an, China (both 2014); Modern Art Oxford (2012). 

Selected group exhibitions and commissions include: Qatar Museums, Doha (2022); DesertX AlUla, KSA (2022); Toronto Biennial of Art (2022); Sea Art Festival, Busan (2021); Paradise Row, London (2021); Folkestone Triennial (2021); Guggenheim, New York (2021); Southbank Centre, London (2020- 21); Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain (2020); WIELS Bruxelles (2020); Manifesta 13 (2020); Lahore Biennial (2020); Dhaka Art Summit (2020); Sharjah Biennial 14, UAE (2019) – Jury Prize for Encroachments; Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2018); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Taipei Biennial (2014); Marrakech Biennial (2014); MACBA Barcelona (2014); Witte de With (2013); Busan Biennale (2010); Tate Triennial: Altermodern (2009); Venice Biennale (2009). 

Selected collections include Guggenheim Arts Council Collection, Tate; UBS, LACMA, Los Angeles, National Gallery of Canada, Government Art Collection, UK, US Government Art Collection, The British Museum, London, Sharjah Art Foundation, Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi, Rubin Museum of Art, New York, and Mathaf, Doha. 

His film works have been screened internationally, including at the ICA, London; MoMA, New York, Guggenheim, New York, and at various film festivals including CPH:DOX, Sharjah Biennial 14 (awarded Special Mention Jury Prize 2019); Oberhausen, Aesthetica (awarded Artist’s Film Prize 2015); his 2013 Feature Film, Piercing Brightness, was released theatrically and on Blu-Ray/DVD by Soda Pictures. 

Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dawood is a Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster. He lives and works in London.

Image Credit: Still from Shezad Dawood, Leviathan Cycle, Episode 8: Cris, Sandra, Papa & Yasmine, 2023. Single screen, HD video, 17:46.

Commissioned by Hybrid Futures (a multi-part collaboration focusing on climate, sustainability, collaborative learning and co-production between Castlefield Gallery, Manchester; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Touchstones Rochdale; University of Salford Art Collection and Shezad Dawood Studio, and generously supported by Arts Council England and Art Fund), Leviathan — Human & Marine Ecology Ltd, Void Gallery, Derry.

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