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Shezad Dawood is a multidisciplinary artist who interweaves stories, realities and symbolism to create richly layered artworks, spanning painting, textiles, sculpture, film and digital media. Fascinated by ecologies and architecture, his work takes a philosophical approach, asking questions and exploring alternative futures through what Dawood describes as ‘world-building'. His practice is animated by research, working with multiple audiences and communities to delve into narrative, history and embodiment.

Selected solo exhibitions and commissions include: Leviathan, Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury (2023); Night in the Garden of Love, Inspired by & featuring Yusef Lateef, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2023; Night in the Garden of Love, Inspired by & featuring Yusef Lateef, WIELS, Brussels (2023); Integrations, Barakat Contemporary, Seoul (2023); HMS Alice Liddell, St Pancras Wires commission, London (2022); Hybrid Landscapes, Deutsche Bank Frieze Lounges (2022); Jhaveri Contemporary, Mumbai (2021); Visions of Paradise, commission for The White House, Becontree (2021); Concert From Bangladesh, commission for British Council Digital Collaboration Fund (2021); Timothy Taylor, London (2020–21); Kai Art Center, Tallinn (2020); New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2020); The Bluecoat Liverpool (2019); MOCA Toronto (2019); FriezeLIVE, London (2019); Kunstverein, Munich (2019); A Lost Future: Rubin Museum of Art, New York (2018); Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2017); Timothy Taylor, London (2016); Galerist, Istanbul (2016); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig.2 at the ICA studio, London (2015); Parasol Unit, London (2014); Leeds Art Gallery and OCAT Xi’an, China (both 2014); Modern Art Oxford (2012).

Selected group exhibitions and commissions include: Manar Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi (2023); Guest Relations, Arts Jameel Centre, Dubai (2023); Qatar Museums, Doha (2022); DesertX AlUla, KSA (2022); Toronto Biennial of Art (2022); Sea Art Festival, Busan (2021); Paradise Row, London (2021); Folkestone Triennial (2021); Guggenheim, New York (2021); Southbank Centre, London (2020–21); Boghossian Foundation – Villa Empain (2020); WIELS Bruxelles (2020); Manifesta 13 (2020); Lahore Biennial (2020); Dhaka Art Summit (2020); Sharjah Biennial 14, UAE (2019) – Jury Prize for Encroachments; Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea (2018); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Museum of Modern Art, New York (2015); Taipei Biennial (2014); Marrakech Biennial (2014); MACBA Barcelona (2014); Witte de With (2013); Busan Biennale (2010); Tate Triennial: Altermodern (2009); Venice Biennale (2009).

Selected collections include Guggenheim; Arts Council Collection; Tate; UBS; LACMA, Los Angeles; National Gallery of Canada; Government Art Collection, UK; US Government Art Collection; The British Museum, London; Sharjah Art Foundation; Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi; Rubin Museum of Art, New York; and Mathaf, Doha.

His film works have been screened internationally, including at the ICA, London; MoMA, New York, Guggenheim, New York, and at various film festivals including CPH:DOX, Sharjah Biennial 14 (awarded Special Mention Jury Prize 2019); Oberhausen, Aesthetica (awarded Artist’s Film Prize 2015); his 2013 Feature Film, Piercing Brightness, was released theatrically and on Blu-Ray/DVD by Soda Pictures.

Shezad Dawood was born in London in 1974 and trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal College of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Dawood is a Research Fellow in Experimental Media at the University of Westminster. He lives and works in London.

Selected Collections

    • Guggenheim
      Arts Council Collection
      Tate, UK
      Government Art Collection, UK
      The British Museum, London
      EKARD Collection
      LACMA, Los Angeles
      National Gallery of Canada
      Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
      Art Jameel, Dubai
      Harris Museum, Preston
      Devi Art Foundation, Delhi
      US Government Art Collection
      Kiran Nadar Museum of Art, Delhi
      Seoul Museum of Art
      Deutsche Bank

Prizes, Awards and Commissions

  • 2019
    • Sharjah Biennial 14, Special Mention

  • 2019
    • Homerton College Cambridge

  • 2017
    • Clerkenwell Design Week

  • 2012
    • Jarman Award Shortlisted

  • 2011
    • Abraaj Capital Art Prize

  • 2008
    • Commissions East

  • 2007
    • Film London, LAFVA Award

  • 2005
    • Live Art Development Agency One to One Bursary

  • 2003
    • Artsadmin Bursary



    • Risquons-Tout – Planetary Artists Venture into Risk, Unpredictability, and Transgression, Mercatorfonds, Bruxelles, 2020, ISBN: 9780300257694

    • Artists’ Moving Image in Britain since 1989, Erika Balsam, Lucy Reynolds and Sarah Perks (eds.), Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art; London, 2019. ISBN: 978-1-913107-01-7

    • Making New Time: Sharjah Biennial 14: Leaving the Echo Chamber, Omar Kholeif (ed.), ISBN: Prestel, Munich, Germany, 2019, ISBN: 978-3791358499

    • A Lost Future, The Rubin Museum of Art, New York, 2018. ISBN: 9780692194591

    • Shezad Dawood: Kalimpong, a bookwork by Shezad Dawood, Edited by Camilla Palestra. Sternberg Press and Timothy Taylor, London, 2016 ISBN: 978-3-95679-276-2

    • Chandigarh is in India, Edited by Shanay Jhaveri. Published by The Shoestring Publisher, Mumbai 2016. ISBN 81-904720-7-0

    • It was a time that was a time, Edited by Gabriel Florenz and David Everitt Howe. Published by Pioneer Works, New York, 2015. ISBN 978-0-9905935-6-0

    • Subplots to a City. Ten Years of In Certain Places, Edited by Charles Quick, Elaine Speight, and Gerry van Noord. Published by In Certain Places, Preston, 2014. ISBN 9780993049804

    • Blow Up, Antonioni's Classic Film and Photography, Edited by Klaus Albrecht Schröder, Walter Moser. Text by Roland Fischer, Philippe Garner, Anna Hanreich, Gabriele Jutz, Astrid Mahler, Walter Moser, Thomas Seelig. Published by Hatje Cantz, 2014. ISBN-13: 978-3775737371

    • Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film, Ziba Ardalan (ed.), texts by Oliver Basciano and Sarah Brown, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art, London, 2014. ISBN 9780957351820

    • The Great Acceleration – Taipei Biennial 2014, Jo Hsiao (ed.), Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, Taiwan, 2014. ISBN: 978-9860444438

    • Where are we now?, Edited by Hicham Khalidi, Amanda Sarroff, Natasha Hoare, Marrakech Biennale and Jap Sam Books, 2014 ISBN 978-94-90322-46-5

    • Open Hearth Surgery, Edited by Aya Mousawi & Simon Sakhai, The Moving Museum, London, 2013, pp. 215-224 ISBN 978-0-9575853-2-4

    • Black Sun. Edited by Gerrie van Noord; Texts by Shezad Dawood, Megha Ralapati and Tom Trevor, Ridinghouse 2013 in association with Devi Art Foundation and Arnolfini, ISBN 978-1-905464-845

    • Photography as a Performative Act. Shezad Dawood and Amelia Jones, in Perform Repeat Record. Live Art in Hisotry, Eds. Amelia Jones & Adrian Heathfield, Intellect: Bristol, 2012, pp. 483-492, ISBN 978 1 84150 489 6

    • Piercing Brightness as an Exploration of the An-archic Imaginary (An Interview by Mark Bartlett) in ‘Journal of Visual Culture’, Vol. 12 No 3, December 2013, pp. 431–449

    • Piercing Brightness: Shezad Dawood, Ed. Gerrie van Noord, inc. texts by Sam Thorne, Abdellah Karroum, Shumon Basar, Mark Bartlett & Jean Fisher, Koenig Books, London, 2012, ISBN 978-3-86335-146-5.

    • Footnote to a Project*: The 2011 Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Exhibition catalogue, texts by Sharmini Pereira, Hamra Abbas, Jananne Al-Ani, Shezad Dawood, Nadia Kaabi-Linke & Timo Nasseri, Abraaj Capital Art Prize, Dubai, 2011, p.209-311, ISBN 978-0-9560704-5-6.

    • Busan Bienniale 2010, Busan Bienniale Organizing Committee, Busan, South Korea, 2010

    • Altermodern, Ed. Nicolas Bourriaud, Tate Publishing, London, 2009, p.14, p.89, p.94-97, ISBN 978-1854378170.

    • Amelia Jones, Seeing Differently: From Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966) to Shezad Dawood’s Make It Big (2005), in ‘Journal of Visual Culture’, Vol. 7 No. 2, August 2008, p.181–203.

    • Feature: Reconstruction, Shezad Dawood, Book Works, London, 2008, ISBN 978-1906012083.

    • Artist’s Studio, Shezad Dawood, Culture Shock Media, London, 2007, ISBN 0- 9546999-5-5