Hassan Sharif - in Memoriam

On 18 September 2016 passed away Hassan Sharif, an extraordinary artist and pioneer of conceptual art in the Gulf Region, a theorist, writer, educator.
By Pat Binder & Gerhard Haupt | Sep 2016

"Art is so simple that anybody could do it and I point that out. But an invisible facet of my work – my thoughts, my writings, my theory, my philosophy is also an integral part of it." *

On 18 September 2016 passed away Hassan Sharif (born 1951 in Dubai), an extraordinary artist and a pioneer of conceptual art in the Gulf Region, a theorist, writer, educator - and a dear friend…

Since the early 1970s, Hassan Sharif had developed a complex and prolific body of works in the most diverse media, including caricatures, performances, installations, experimental procedures, objects, drawings and paintings.

He made an extraordinary contribution to a new understanding of art in the United Arab Emirates, opening the eyes of his community to the international art scene and initiating a productive debate and exchange. He provided the impetus for an experimental effort to find artistic analogies for a hybrid awareness of identity, in which the recent memory of the age of nomadic Bedouin tribes becomes reconciled with a hypermodern present. Since Hassan Sharif founded the Group of Five in the mid-80s, he was the leading figure of a scene constantly rejuvenating, seeking new directions in art and in life.

Since we met for the first time in Sharjah in 2003, and kept meeting almost every year, we became good friends. In inspiring conversations, Hassan Sharif introduced us to the multifaceted dimension of his artworks, his complex theories, his worldview, his subtle humour. We will miss you, Hassan…

* From an interview in April 2004


Hassan Sharif, 2004
© Photo: Haupt & Binder


Image on top:
Hassan Sharif: Jumping No. 1, 1983
© Abdulraheem Sharif

Pat Binder & Gerhard Haupt

Publishers of Universes in Universe - Worlds of Art; co-publishers and editors-in-chief of Nafas Art Magazine. Based in Berlin, Germany.

Hassan Sharif
1951 - 2016 Dubai
United Arab Emirates




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