Their work explores the performativity of cathartic spiritual practice by drawing connections between the Queer ballroom scene and folkloric dance traditions from African diasporic communities in the Arabian Peninsula.
Shadi Al-Atallah was born in Saudi Arabia in 1994 and currently lives and works in London, UK. They received their MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art in 2021. Al-Atallah creates large-scale figurative paintings: the dark and dynamic figures depicted in their mixed-media work are distorted self-portraits of the artist that capture the absurdity of conflicting emotional states. Their work explores the performativity of cathartic spiritual practice by drawing connections between the Queer ballroom scene and folkloric dance traditions from African diasporic communities in the Arabian Peninsula.
Working in rapid motions and strokes, Shadi works fast to avoid their thoughts slipping, contending with their own cognition and memory. Each painting documents a single hazy moment in time, examining the space between the mundane and the spiritual.
Shadi makes use of paint to escape from the constraints of language. Painting allows them to invent genderless figures, ones that embody an ambiguity that language rarely grants. This ambiguity is used to question Shadi’s own ideas on gender and sexuality. Obscurity also allows breathing room for the viewer to connect with the artwork.
B. in Saudi Arabia, 1994. Based in London, UK.
2018 - 2021 MA Painting, Royal College of Art, London (UK)
2013 -2018 BA Illustration, University of the Arts, London (UK)
2021 I Lost the Title On the Plane, Guts Gallery
2019 Fuck I’m Stuck, J Hammond Projects, London (UK)
2018 Roadblocks, Cob Gallery, London (UK)
2021 Queer Circle, Victoria Miro x Out Collective, London (UK)
2021 Reality Check, Guts Gallery, London (UK)
2021 A New Art World, Guts Gallery, London (UK)
2021, Introducing, Guts Gallery at The Shop at Sadie Coles HQ, (UK)
2020 Begin Again, Guts Gallery, London (UK)
2020 Paintings on, and, with paper, Cob Gallery, London (UK)
2020 When Shit Hits the Fan, Guts Gallery, London (UK)
2020 NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT, Public Gallery, London (UK)
2020 Alter Ego, Unit London, London, (UK)
2020 Without a Painter, The Fitzrovia Gallery, London, (UK)
2019 The Head The Hand, Blank Projects, Cape Town, (South Africa)
2019 Sharks, Swim Gallery, San Francisco, (US)
2019 Absinthe, Collectivending, Spit and Sawdsut, London, (UK)
2018 AFROPUNK x 198 Contemporary Arts and Learning Present: People Art Resistance, London (UK)
2018 LDN WMN, Tate Collective, public commission, London, (UK)
2018 BBZ BLK BK, Copeland Gallery, London (UK)
2020 Eating at the Same Table x Fuck I’m Stuck, London (UK)
2019 The Art of Creativity, Tate Britain, London (UK)
2019 CommuneEAST x The Curtain Hotel, London (UK)
2019 “Intersect”, Cambridge Univeristy Queens’ Art Festival, Cambridge, (UK)
2019 “Gender Fuckery in Contemporary British Art” at b.Dewitt Gallery
2019, London, (UK) 2019 CommuneEAST x Selfridges, London, (UK)
2018 Insights: Beyond Gender, Tate Modern, (UK)
Meet the Artist Who Painted the Kardashians for Kanye West’s “XTCY”RACHEL TASHJIAN, GARAGE, 30 Aug 2018
Guts Gallery present ‘When shit hits the fan’ a digital Instagram exhibitionMark Westall, Fad Magazine, 23 Mar 2020
This Instagram-only exhibition is full of London’s best young artistsEddy Frankel, Time Out London, 24 Mar 2020
Art markets find high-tech ways to reach buyersMelanie Gerlis, Financial Times, 27 Mar 2020
When Shit Hits the Fan (In the Artworld)TJ Sidhu, The Face, 27 Mar 2020
The London art you can take a virtual tour of right now for freeLucy Scovell, The Glossary, 29 Mar 2020
Ten's to see 'When Shit Hits the Fan', The insta-exhibition by Guts GalleryPaul Toner, 10 Magazine, 2 Apr 2020
Painter Shadi Al-Atallah examines gender, sexuality, racial identity and mental health in their eloquent worksRUBY BODDINGTON, iT'S NICE THAT, 23 Jun 2020
Begin Again: The online exhibition challenging austerity and racial oppressionScarlett Baker , Love Magazine, 13 Aug 2020
Scrap that, lets begin againTJ Sidhu, The Face, 13 Aug 2020
Begin Again is the virtual art exhibition tackling racial inequalityGunseli Yalcinkaya, Dazed , 14 Aug 2020
Top Ten Shows from the UK and IrelandMimi Chu, Frieze, 12 Feb 2021
Guts Gallery featured in The New York Times 'Gallery Weekend Brings London's Art Scene Back to Life 'Scott Reyburn, The New York Times , 7 Jun 2021
Shadi Al-Atallah featured in The New York TimesEmily Lordi, The New York Times Style Magazine, 9 Sep 2021
DAZED features latest Guts exhibition, REALITY CHECKEmily Dinsdale, DAZED, 21 Sep 2021
FAD Magazine feature Guts latest exhibition REALITY CHECKMark Westall , FAD Magazine , 23 Sep 2021
SHADI AL-ATALLAHI LOST THE TITLE ON THE PLANE 7 - 14 Oct 2021These works and the title itself are formed from moments in transit, working and existing in a state of fluidity between time zones, locations and introspection. I LOST THE TITLE ON THE PLANE, explores the idea of stagnation. Shadi uses swamps as a reference for this state of being. Swamps...
REALITY CHECK23 Sep - 3 Oct 2021Opening: Thur 23 Sept 6-9pm Exhibition Location: Anderson Contemporary, Carpenter’s Wharf Studios, 4b Roach Road, London E3 2PA Via Monier Road Footbridge Regular Opening Hours: Wed - Sun 11-6pm Guts Gallery is pleased to present REALITY CHECK, the inaugural exhibition at Anderson Contemporary, a new artist-led gallery space in London....
A NEW ART WORLDA NEW ART WORLD IS POSSIBLE. 22 - 29 Jul 2021Private View: Thursday 22 July 6-9pm Opening Hours: Tues - Sun 11am - 6pm Location: 147 Stoke Newington High Street, London, N16 0NY No RSVP's required BUY THE MANIFESTO PRINT NOW Picking up where Guts Gallery’s online show, When Shit Hits the Fan Again (Feb, 2021) left off, A New...
GUTS GALLERY INTRODUCINGLondon Gallery Weekend at The Shop at Sadie Coles HQ 4 - 6 Jun 2021London Gallery Weekend 4-6 June 2021 11am - 8pm (Opening day) 11am - 6pm (Regular hours) The Shop at Sadie Coles HQ, 62 Kingly Street, London W1B 5QN Directions > Guts Gallery is excited to announce our exhibition for this year's London Gallery Weekend. 'INTRODUCING' presents a new and...
WHEN SHIT HITS THE FAN AGAINFOR ARTISTS BY ARTISTS, 1 NIGHT ONLY. 4 Feb - 4 Mar 2021Through the invitation extended to established artists into the exhibition. We are hoping to reinstate a balance of power. Allowing established artists to shoulder emerging artists. 50% of sales of works sold by an established artist, will be distributed entirely to all the emerging artists involved. This redistribution of wealth offers a new outlook and model that is fundamentally for artists, by artists, creating an alternative system of support.
BEGIN AGAINAs society shifts, the art world shifts. We are on the cusp of change. 13 - 27 Aug 2020This is a time to stop, reflect, create dialogue, and put our words into positive action. To begin again we must shoulder each other, listen to each other, work together and collectively change together. As the newest generation of art collectors, we urge you to collect from this exhibition. The revenue made will support The Free Black University and the newest generation of artists.
to proceed to perform the first or earliest part of some action; commence; start
once more; another time; anew; in addition
With many thanks to Lotte Andersen for her continuous support throughout this exhibition, and to Pallas Citroen, Director of The Bomb Factory Art Foundation. Who is kindly providing a free gallery space as part of The Guts Prize.
WHEN SHIT HITS THE FANGallery openings have been affected by the spread of coronavirus 26 Mar - 16 Apr 2020Many art-related events, including Guts Gallery's, have either been cancelled or postponed, causing a large economic impact on artists and smaller galleries. We want to challenge this, putting our ethos of supporting underrepresented contemporary voices into action by navigating this set back through a digital Instagram exhibition.