Manal AlDowayan is a conceptual artist at the forefront of the global contemporary art scene. She was born and raised in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia and carries a Masters degree in Systems Analysis and Design. She worked as the Creative Director of the Saudi Arabian oil company for ten years before becoming a full-time artist. She has participated in several residencies including: Delfina Foundation in London, The Town House Gallery in Cairo, and Cuadro Gallery in Dubai. Manal has been inducted into various cultural leadership initiatives including the Clore Leadership program and the British Council International Cultural Leaders program. She has also been invited as the key note speaker in many international conferences and seminars; most recently at the Clinton Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas as part of the Club de Madrid’s 2012 annual conference, entitled “Harnessing 21st Century Solutions: A Focus on Women” and at "Beyond Borders, The Platform for Small Nation Dialogue and Cultural Exchange" in Scotland 2012.


Manal has been included in international exhibitions including the Venice Biennale in 2011 and 2009, the Berlin Biennale in 2010, and in a collateral exhibition that coincided with Contemporary Istanbul in 2010. Her works are part of the permanent collections of the British Museum, LA County Museum, Mathaf Museum of Modern Arab Art, the Jordan National Museum of Fine Art, the Abdul Latif Jamil Foundation, the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture and Heritage (ADACH), the Nadour Foundation, and the Barjeel Foundation. Manal AlDowayan is represented by Cuadro Gallery in Dubai. She currently lives and works between her native Dhahran, Saudi Arabia and Dubai, UAE.

This year she has had the following major exhibits:

1. 03/22/2013 “If I Forget You, Don’t Forget Me” Book Launch - 7 the Edition of Art Dubai
The launch of the book that is inspired by the collection “If I Forget You, Don’t Forget Me” with a book signing event at Art Dubai on Friday March 22 at 5:30 pm at Madinat Jumeirah.

2. 03/2013 MinD/Body exhibition - DUCTAC
MinD/Body exhibition will explore the role of the body and self-censorship in contemporary art from the Gulf to investigate the creative and exhibitive freedom of the artist. MinD/Body will see experimental artworks in a range of media (including video, installation, painting, photography and performance art) showcased throughout the DUCTAC complex. The show will feature work by 16 artists, including Manal AlDowayan. Showing at DUCTAC 6th March – 10th April 2013

3. 03/13/2013 The State of Disappearance at Cuadro Art Gallery
Manal AlDowayan’s exploration of disappearance led her to its counterbalance – the necessary act of conservation. She explores the preservation of definitions through both language and images, relying on two sources, Abu Mansour AlTha’alby AlNaysaboury’s “Jurisprudence of a Language: The Secrets of Arabic,” and daily newspapers from Saudi Arabia. Showing at Cuadro Art Gallery - March 13 to May 4, 2013

4. 11-04/2013 Light From The Middle East at the Victoria & Albert Museum - London, UK
Contemporary photographic practice relating to the Middle East in the last few years has been vibrant, innovative and varied. It reflects the region’s rapid changes and upheavals in political, religious, social and cultural life while often balancing a celebration and critique of tradition. The result is some of the most visually experimental photographic practice today. This exhibition is a survey showing myriad talents, and incorporates a wide range of styles and approaches that is richly rewarding, ranging from journalism, staged narratives, montage and fine art practice. The show opens in November 13, 2012 to April 7, 2013 in London, UK.

5. 01/16/2013 Journey of Belonging - Solo Show at Athr Gallery - Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Introducing new work by the artist as well as seminal work from her previous series. The exhibition explores the artist’s frequent voyages into the past in search of understanding and mutual acceptance. With the intersecting of key works from the artist’s different series under one roof, a pattern emerges, a common thread weaves itself through the works, one that gradually alters and transforms but remains unbroken. A journey comes to light.  A Journey of Belonging allows the viewer to approach Al-Dowayan’s work from a new perspective. There is a paradigm shift in focus, with controversial issues of women’s rights and identity, normally associated with the artist’s work, fading into the background, and the artist’s personal fears and obsessions coming to the fore. 16th January, 2013 - 15th February, 2013

Copyright © Manal AlDowayan 2013