Join Taking Shape: Abstraction from the Arab World, 1950s–1980s exhibition artist Samia Halaby (b. 1936, Jerusalem) for a talk exploring her groundbreaking artistic practice and career. The artist will be joined in conversation by Sarah Dwider, Block Museum 2021–22 Graduate Fellow and Northwestern Ph.D. Student, Department of Art History.
Samia A. Halaby is an artist, activist, and scholar living and working in New York. Halaby is recognized as a pioneer of abstract painting. Her work is housed in international private and public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York and Abu Dhabi), the Institut du Monde Arabe (Paris), and the Chicago Art Institute.
Halaby received her education in the Midwest between 1954 and 1963. She was active as an educator at the university level for 17 years. She was the first woman to hold the position of Associate Professor at the Yale School of Art where she taught for 10 years. Throughout her years of teaching, she produced an incredible body of work, inspired by her understanding of shape and color, her travels, and her exposure to artists. She settled in New York in 1976 and by 1982, she began to devote her time entirely to painting and writing.
Based in New York since 1976, Halaby has long been active in the city’s art scene, mainly through independent and non-profit art spaces and artist-run initiatives.