Afifa Aleiby

Afifa Aleiby is an Iraqi artist, born in the city of Basra, in the utmost southern part of Iraq in 1953. She took up her studies at the Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. In the same period she worked as an illustrator for the iraqi press. After this, she left Iraq to Soviet Union in order to study and specialize in monumental art at the well-known Surikov Institute in Moscow. Due to the political situation in Iraq, she was unable to return to her native country after the completion of her studies. She therefore decided to go to Italy and later Moscow. After having travelled to Italy a second time, she settled in Yemen to work as a teacher at the Institute of Fine Arts in Aden, where she also illustrated children’s books and magazines. Afifa Aleiby has been living and working in the Netherlands for several years now. Afifa Aleiby has contributed to a great many cultural activities in support of the iraqi and international democratic movement, in the struggle against terrorism, racism, war and dictatorship. Afifa Aleiby has been away from her native country of iraq for 35 years now. Although she has repeatedly moved between countries during this time, she has felt connected to every country she has stayed in and all manner of people crossing her path. What she feels, in short, is a connection to humanity as a whole. It is her conviction that it is this feeling of connection, this solidarity, transcending geographical and cultural borders, which should unite all of humanity. Aleiby’s paintings bring together different influences from Renaissance painting to religious icons and social realism. She uses the female figure are a recurring motif in your work to reflect on beauty, on taste, on politics or on society. She has participated in numerous art exhibitions, from Baghdad and Moscow to Yemen, Italy, Syria, Lebanon, England and the United States, as a representative of the artistic and cultural face of the iraqi civilization. Perhaps her most important show to date in the Netherlands was the retrospective of her works in the Museum Catharinagasthuis in Gouda (The Netherlands). Selected exhibitions also include the forthcoming Theater of Operations: The Gulf Wars 1991–2011 at MOMA PS1, NY (2019-2020); Re-Existence, Pulchri Studio, Den Haag, The Netherlands (2018); Boushahri Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait (2017); Boushahri Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait (2014); De Twee Pauwen, The Hague, The Netherlands (2014); Boushahri Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait (2010); Gallery Prima Vista, Maastricht, The Netherlands (2008); Galleria Tornabuoni,  Florence, Italy (2008); Zink Exposities, Bergen, The Netherlands (2008); Transit Art, Amersfoort, The Netherlands (2008); Ministry of Foreign Affairs, The Hague The Netherlands (2007); De Twee Pauwen, The Hague, The Netherlands (2007); Daar Al Mada, Damascus, Syria (2000); Beirut Biennale, Beirut, Lebanon (2000); Arabic Cultural Centre, Brussels, Belgium (1999); Tjalf Gallery, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1999); Het Catharina Gasthuis Museum, Gouda, The Netherland (1999); Fortezza S. Francesco. Omaggio a Dilvio Lotti, San Miniato, Italy (1997); Het Veen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands (1997); Sale Topical, omaggio Gino Severini, Montespertoli, Italy (1995); Zalm Hotel, Gouda, The Netherlands (1995); City Gallery, Gouda, The Netherlands (1995); Centro culturale Studio Palazzo, Festival dei due mondi, Spoleto, Italy (1993); and Sala dell’ Esposizioni Quartiere No 1, Florence, Italy (1992).