Rashid Al Khalifa was born in Bahrain in 1952. He began painting at the age of 16 and had his first solo exhibition at the Dilmun Hotel, Bahrain (1970). He travelled to the UK in 1972 where he attended the Brighton and Hastings Art College in Sussex and trained in Arts and Design. Back in Bahrain in 1978, he took his cues from European Impressionist masters. He was preoccupied with painting landscapes that exemplifed the beautiful luminosity and mysterious spatial effects of the desert. He showcased his magnificent landscapes at the Middle East Institute, Washington, D.C., USA and the Sheraton Hotel, Bahrain (1982).

However, whilst doing painterly works he was also responding to the trend - Geometric Abstraction, Hard-Edge painting and Colour Field - he was pushing his work to abstraction. Rashid's decision to merge elements of his figurative and landscape work in the late 1980's was an entirely conscious one; he was impelled to create work that conveyed a greater sense of self-expression, and that was inherent of the same energy that nature imparts on its viewers, while standing in its midst. Once noticeable figuers become barely decipherable - hints of fabric, suggestions of limbs and cascades of hair, disperse and blend into the landscape of colour.

Rashid's continued progression toward abstraction in the early 1990's was the result of his desire to restrain his gestural and fleeting marks. His imagery gradually became more controlled, imparting a greater sense of tranquility. These works were exhibited in solo exhibitions in De Caliet Gallery, Milan, Italy and El Kato Kayyel Gallery, Milan, Italy (1996), and Art Department, Shuman Arts Organisation, Jordan (1997).

During the same period, he was also experimenting on the shaped canvas with three canvases joined together to form a triangular prism. Although he appreciated the way in which its three-dimensionality allowed the work to stand unsupported on the floor allowing the viewer to appreciate it from all angles, he was unsastisfied with the final result. After further experimentation and an unintentional discovery, the convex canvas came into being towards the end of the 1990's.

In the beginning of 2000, the 'convex' shaped canvas was the primary structure that Rashid used for the merging of Landscape, Figurative and Abstract Expressionism in a Colour-Field language that was scrapped, slashed etc. In these works, colour was used metaphorically for content.

In 2006, bright colours remain, but these paintings demonstrate a fresh approach and a conceptual framework. Brushstrokes intensify and appear between coloured forms producing an overriding optical effect with a painterly language. By 2009, his works clearly showed the transition from the formerly divisive lines to perfect synthesis of Colour Field painting and gestural abstraction. Sweeps and sluices of eye-candy colour with blends of flecked, blazing paint in thick impasto and loose brush strokes are applied with an expressionist touch. Working on the convex surface for a decade, Rashid methodically developed his style, and finally found a distinctive voice with his 'convex' painting.

A solo exhibition at the Bahrain National Museum entitled, Convex: A New Perspective (2010) showcased a decade's work in convex. To add to the collection was a series in a new media, such as lacquer paint, fabric and glue were introduced to compliment the canvas' curvature. Rashid manipulates these materials in order to allow light to fall differently on the surface, thereby emphasizing the thick relief that he has created.

The scale of the canvas has become grander and the imagery itself, darker and more profound in nature, imparting a far more dramatic effect. The interaction with the viewer is not simply engaging, it is overwhelming. The 'new perspective' we were initially offered has become an inescapable present. These works reveal how different it is to think about Rashid's relationship to tradition in relation to his contemporary moment and his personal development. In these new works, he imported the sensibility and techniques associated with design and are just as complex and developed as his old work. The incandescent lacquer finished 'convex' surface is a new realm of artistic development reflecting an affinity for structure, balance and visual order.

In 2011, Rashid took a further step towards perfecting the expressiveness of his contemporary oeuvre through the mirror-like chrome plated convex surface. His impulse to work from intuitive and improvised composition transformed the chrome surface into a radical creative language and a definite formal contrast to the restrained Minimalist inspired 'convex' 2010 series. This body of work would be celebrated in solo exhibtions the following year.

Enter Reflection, a new wave of painted abstraction that revisits Rashid's colour-field exploits in confined fields in which he knits enamel lines into a singular surface. The visual tension produced by the geometic passages of solid colours demonstrate a collision between flowing manual gestures of complex 'woven' surfaces that deliberately form facets that intersect one another, acting in concert with flows of paint which compete for attention within the declared centre. Reflection, a solo exhibition of new works by Rashid at the Bahrain Financial Harbour Fine Arts Gallery and the Beirut Art Fair, Lebanon and a selection at Abu Dhabi Art, UAE (2012).

These mirror-like chrome and high-gloss lacquer artworks have been trailblazing over the past years, from Dubai to Moscow, Zurich to Los Angeles. In May 2015, Rashid's work reached Venice. In two seperate exhibitions, the first being NOMI, a two-man exhibition in context with the biennale and for his participation at the 56th La Biennale di Venezia's collateral events with seven Arab artists, Rashid unveiled the first of his three dimensional painting on aluminium. This painting landed him a spot at the Trio Biennal in Rio, Brazil where his three dimensional works evolved into Kinetic Art.

Rashid's work continues to demonstrate how a 'painting' can transform and how his ideas and formal innovations ripple through contemporary practice.




2018 Penumbra: Textured Shadow, Coloured Light - London, UK

2018 Hybrids, Ayyam Gallery - Dubai, UAE

2012  Reflection, BFH Fine Arts Gallery - Kingdom of Bahrain

2010  Convex: A New Perspective, Bahrain National Museum - Kingdom of Bahrain

1997  Art Department, Shuman Arts Organisation - Amman, Jordan

1996  De Caliet Gallery - Milan, Italy

1996  El Kato Kayyel Gallery - Milan Italy

1982  Middle East Institute - Washington D.C. U.S.A.

1982  Sheraton Hotel - Kingdom of Bahrain

1970  Dilmun Hotel - Kingdom of Bahrain



2017  Bridges, Grenada Pavilion, 57. la Biennale de Vinezia - Venice Italy

2017  3rd Mediterranean Biennale: OUT OF PLACE - Sakhnin Valley, Israel

2015  Arab Delegation, TRIO Bienial - Rio de Janiro, Brazil

2015  In The Eye of the Thunderstorm, Collateral Events, 56. la Biennale di Venezia - Venice, Italy



2017  Convergence, Royal Bridges - Ritz Carlton - Dubai, UAE

2015  NOMI - Two-man show in context with the 56 la Biennale di Venezia - Venice, Italy

2013  In Dialogue - The Waterline Gallery - Kingdom of Bahrain



2014  WWALA - Solo Exhibition - Los Angeles, California, USA

2014  Art Dubai - Two-man show - Dubai, UAE

2013  Zurich Art Fair - Two-man show - Zurich, Switzerland

2013  Abu Dhabi Art - Abu Dhabi, UAE

2013  Art Dubai - Dubai, UAE

2012  Abu Dhabi Art - Abu Dhabi, UAE

2012  Beirut Art Fair - Solo Exhibition - Beirut, Lebanon



2016  15/15 Shiakh Ebrahim bin Mohammed Al Khalifa Centre for Culture and Heritage - Kingdom of Bahrain

2016  VIEWS - Ritz Carlton - Kingdom of Bahrain

2014  Bahrain - Asilah Arts & Culture Forum, Morocco

2013  Bahrain Contemporary Art, Russian Acadmeny - Moscow, Russia

2007  Bahrain Contemproary Art, Unesco - Paris, France

2005  Modern Art Exhibtion, Royal Irish College of Surgeons - Dublin, Ireland

2004  Two-man show - Berlin, Germany

2004  Annual Art Exhibiion 32 - Bahrain National Museum - Kingdom of Bahrain

2002  Bahraini Culture Week - Amman, Jordan

2002  Bahraini Culture Week - Peking, China

1999  Taipei Art Exhibition - Teipei, China

1999  Sharjah Biennial - Sharjah, UAE

1999  Delmun Exhibition - Paris, France

1998  Bahrain Arts Society Exhibition, Gallery Alexander - Ladoux, France

1997  Art Expo Singapore - Singapore

1997  Art America Exhibition - Miami, USA
1997  Europe Art Festival - Geneva, Switzerland

1997  Bahrain Arts Society Exhibition - Cannes, France

1996  Europe Art Festival - Geneva, Switzerland

1996  Bahrain Artists Exhibition - Rome, Italy

1996  Sharjah Biennial - Sharjah, UAE

1995 Two-man show, Hotel Du Rond - Geneva, Switzerland and at the UN Center - Lusanne, Switzerland

1989  Bahrain ARt Society Exhibition - Cairo, Egypt

1988  Festival of Asian Artists - Malaysia

1988  New Art Center - Baghdad, Iraq

1986  First GCC Art Exhibition - Japan

1985  Cairo Biennial - Cairo, Egypt

1985  Alia Center - Amman, Jordan

1984  Bahraini Artists, Leighton House - London, England

1984  Salon des Artists Francaises, Grand Palais - Paris, France

1981  Raffles Htoel Singapore - Singapore

1978  Hilton Hotel - Kingdom of Bahrain

1975  Gulf Hotel - Kingdom of Bahrain

1973  Periodic GCC Youth Exhibition - Kingdom of Bahrain

1972  College of Arts Exhibition - Brighton, England

1969  First Art Exhibtion, Gulf Hotel - Kingdom of Bahrain