Ahmed Alsoudani was born in Baghdad in 1975 and came to the U.S. after fleeing from a war-torn Iraq in the late 1990s. Currently based in New York City, Alsoudani received his BFA from Maine College of Art in 2005 before attending Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture in 2006. Since graduating with an MFA in painting from Yale University in 2008, his work has been exhibited internationally, including exhibitions at the Pinault Foundation at Palazzo Grassi in Venice (2011), Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Connecticut (2012), Portland Museum of Art in Maine (2013). In 2011, he represented Iraq at the Venice Biennale, the country’s first time hosting a pavilion in 35 years.
Known for his vividly colored and surreal acrylic and charcoal canvases, in which distorted, grotesque faces and body parts portray the horrors of chaos, Alsoudani creates images of devastation and violence that evoke a universal experience of conflict and human suffering. Alsoudani’s work has been compared to Francisco de Goya’s series of prints “Disasters of War” (1810-20) and Pablo Picasso’s Guernica (1937), and stylistically to Willem de Kooning for his gestural fluency and Francis Bacon for his agonized depiction of modernity.
In the fall of 2018, Alsoudani’s work will be on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at MECA as part of the state-wide exhibition, Making Migration Visible: Traces, Tracks & Pathways, dedicated to examining themes of migration, immigration, and border crossing. Additional upcoming exhibitions include “Ahmed Alsoudani” at Marlborough Contemporary, New York (2018), and “Chaos and Awe: Painting for the 21st Century” at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Tennessee and Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia (2018-9).