At 85 years of age, Sudanese Muslim artist Ibrahim El-Salahi’s work bears marks of his decades-long struggle to make honest art. El-Salahi is a founding member of the Khartoum School, former Undersecretary in Sudan’s Ministry of Culture and Information, and a former political prisoner in his home nation. His work has been compared to Picasso and Miró, infusing elements of calligraphy, native Sudanese design, and Islamic imagery into many of his artworks. His resume is long, impressive, and at times heartbreaking.
At The Armory Show, he exhibits the third artwork in a series he’s been working on since 1965 called Reborn Sounds of Childhood Dreams, the first of which hangs next to Picasso’s Three Dancers (1925) in the Tate Modern. “It recalls all the stories and fables he was read as a child,” Vigo Gallery director Toby Clarke explains to The Creators Project. “He likes to live with his paintings because he doesn’t understand them until looking at them later on.”