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Hanaa Malallah
[1958 -

“My signature-as-number is multi-layered in content and has developed over 30 years of practice. Conceptually, it is rooted in my interests in abstract systems and their equivalents, beginning with early Mesopotamian shapes, Islamic charts”

– Hanaa Malallah –

Hanaa Malallah


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Co-existent Ruins: Exploring Iraq’s Mesopotamian past through contemporary art out

Get to know

Hanaa Malallah
[1958 -

Hanaa Malallah is an internationally acclaimed contemporary British-Iraqi artist living and working in London. She is an artist, researcher and educator.

Since the early 1990s, Malallah has tried to think through destruction as an essential part of the human condition, she mutilates or disfigures materials and found objects according to what she came to conceptualize in 2007 as a ‘ruins technique’. More recently she is exploring the ‘virtual’ aspects of destruction. Her research on the virtual has led more recently to examine the relationship between spiritualism and technology.

In 2020, her artworks were curated in the exhibition “Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art” which traced the influence artists who migrated to Britain had on the local art scene since the late 19th century till contemporary times.

Malallah’s work has been acquired by museums such as the Centre for Arts in Baghdad- Iraq, the British Museum in London- England, the Jordan National Gallary in Amman- Jordan, Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art in Ar-Rayyan- Qatar and Barjeel art Foundation in Sharjah- UAE.
Born in Iraq in 1958, her early years of study earned her a diploma in print making and she studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Baghdad- Iraq, and later earned an MA and PhD from the University of Baghdad- Iraq. Malallah left Iraq at the end of 2006 for an artist residency at the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris- France; that was followed by fellowships at the School of Oriental and African Studies and the Chelsea College of Art in London- UK.

Institutional Collectors
  • Centre for Arts, Baghdad – Iraq
  • The Jordanian National Gallery, Amman Jordan
  • The British Museum, London – U.K
  • Mathaf Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha – Qatar
  • Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah – UAE
  • Imperial War Museum, London – U.K
  • Dalloul Art Foundation (DAF), Beirut
  • 2022 – May, Artist’s Residency at al Mawrid Arab Center for the Study of Art. NYU Abu Dhabi
  • 1984-85 Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization award
Selected Exhibitions

Hanaa Malallah’s work was publicly presented and exhibited both regionally in the Arab World and in Europe and the U.S in Museums, artfairs and galleries; regionally the city centers included Baghdad, Amman, Beirut, Dubai, Bahrain, Kuwait, Tunis. And city centers in Europe and the United States included London, Paris, Solingen, Holland, and the U.S New York and Texas.

Below are some selected exhibitions and art fairs where she participated

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2022 – Co-Existent Ruins, The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London
  • 2021 – Rising Above The Storm On A Kite, The Park Gallery, London
  • 2021 – She/He Has No Picture, The Park Gallery, London
  • 2019 – From Figurative to Abstraction, The Park Gallery, London
  • 2018 – Without Name, But, Numbers, Albareh Art Gallery, Bahrain
  • 2017 – Drone Hits Ziggurat of UR, Al Rewaq Art Space, Bahrain
  • 2016 – Biohazard, DOLPH projects, London
  • 2012 – Inception Gallery, Paris
  • 2009 – Vivid Ruins, The Mosaic Rooms, Qattan Foundation, London
  • 1998 – Schedules and Signals, Athar Gallery, Baghdad
  • 1993 – Baghdad: Geography People Symbols, Centre for Arts, Baghdad
  • 1991 – Museum Visits Documents, Centre for Arts, Baghdad

Group Exhibitions

  • 2022 – Co-Existent Ruins, The Brunei Gallery, SOAS, London
  • 2019 – Refuge and Renewal: Migration and British Art, RWA, Bristol, United Kingdom
  • 2019 – Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011, MoMA PS1, New York
  • 2019 – The Spirit of the Poet, Zentrum für verfolgte Künste im Kunstmuseum Solingen, Germany
  • 2018 – Bagdad mon Amour, Institut des Cultures d’Islam, Paris
  • 2017 – The Role in Empowering Women, The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Jordan
  • 2017 – National Museum of Bahrain
  • 2016 – Biohazard, Baghdad
  • 2014 – Reflections of War, Flowers, London
  • 2014 – A Tribute to Rafa Nasiri, Nabha Gallery, Amman
  • 2013 – Ten Year After: Reflections on the Invasion of Iraq, Project and exhibition, Chelsea College of Arts & Design London University, London
  • 2012 – Iraq: How, Where, for Whom? with Kennardphillips, Qattan Foundation, The Mosaic Rooms, London
  • 2011 – Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah
  • 2010 – Art in Iraq Today, Meem Gallery, Dudai
  • 2010 – Beyond The War, LTMH Gallery, New York
  • 2009 – The Recessionists, Somerset, England
  • 2009 – Modernism and Iraq, Wallach Art Gallery, Columbia University in the City of New York
  • 2008 – Iraqi Artist in Exile, Station Museum, USA
  • 2008 – Iraq’s Past Speaks to the Present, British Museum
  • 2007 – Sophisticated Ways: Distruction of an Ancient City, Ayagallery, London
  • 2007 – Green Zone Red Zone, Gemak Den Haag, Holland
  • 2005 – Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, UAS, Texas College
  • 2005 – Contemporary Iraqi Exhibition, Paris
  • 2005 – Iraqi Exhibition, East and West Foundation, Holland
  • 2004 – Celebrating the Creativity of the Collaboration Between Iraqi Art and Literature, Frankfurt
  • 2004 – Homage to Shakir Hassan, Orfly Art Gallery, Amman
  • 2003 – Before. After. Now, Deluxe Gallery, Hoxton Square, London
  • 2003 – Women Artists from the Islamic Wold, Spain, UNESCO Paris
  • 2003 – Tawashujat: Between Poet and Artists, The Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman
  • 2002 – Contemporary Iraqi Art in China
  • 2002 – Baghdad International Festival for Contemporary Art
  • 2002 – Conference of Creative Arab Women, Tunisia
  • 2000 – Strokes of Genius: Contemporary Iraqi Art, Brunei Gallery, London
  • 2000 – Contemporary Iraqi Art, Institute du Monde Arabe, Paris
  • 2000 – Significance of Experimentation, Baghdad Gallery, Baghdad

Art Fairs

  • 2021 – Intersect Palm Springs, USA
  • 2019 – Abu Dhabi Art Fair
  • 2019 – Beirut Art Fair
  • 2018 – Dubai Art Fair
  • 2017 – Beirut Art Fair
  • 2016 – Abu Dhabi Art Fair
  • 2015 – Abu Dhabi Art Fair
  • 2015 – Art15, London
  • 2015 – Sluice, London
  • 2014 – Art14, London
  • 2013 – Abu Dhabi Art Fair
  • 2013 – Scope Basel Art Fair
  • 2012 – Abu Dhabi Art Fair
  • 2010 – Dubai Art Fair

Iraq: How, Where, for Whom? by Hanaa Malallah, A.M. Qattan Foundation, 2012

This Green Is Not Green, letters between Shakir Hassan al-Said and Hanaa Malallah

Conceptual I Ruination I Abstract I