Al Braithwaite


Born in 1979, Rinteln, W.Germany

Al Braithwaite (b.1979) is a contemporary artist from London, who works across a variety of disciplines including sculpture, assemblage, found material and installation. His work fits into a tradition of conceptual art, recalling Dada, Surrealism, Fluxus, and aspects of Orphism.

Al co-founded The Offscreen Group with writer Henry Hemming in 2002. The group worked in a number of countries on a low-budget model like the Beat poets, the Black Audio Film Collective or the Russian group AES+F. During its time the group was joined by feminist filmmaker Georgie Weedon and curator Stephen A. Stapleton, co-founder of Edge of Arabia. From 2005 Al pursued more solo work, continuing the same low-budget model but for his own purposes. An interest in considering different contexts led him to places like Ground Zero, United States, and Trinidad in the West Indies, which have both impacted his work. Hybrid textures play a significant role in his practice.

Last summer his piece The Limes Installation (2014) showed to small audiences at Alice Yard, Port of Spain, a non-profit project space with an ongoing residency programme, in its seventh year.

Previous solo exhibitions include
Museum No.1: Hizbollah’s Caviar at Rose Issa Projects, London (2009);
Twinned Towers at Leila Heller Gallery, New York (2011);
Transgressions at XVA Gallery, Dubai (2012).

His work is in numerous private and public collections including
The Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Private Collection, Abu Dhabi;
The Salsali Private Museum (SPM), Dubai;
The Sheikha Paula al-Sabah Private Collection, Kuwait;
The Moez Ahamed Jamal Private Collection, Zurich;
The British Council Collection, Tehran;
The Art Fund Collection, London;
The Farook Collection, Dubai;
Vasili Tsereteli Collection, Moscow;
The British Museum Collection, London.


1999-2002 Oxford University

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2014 OBJECTS Medulla Gallery, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
2014 THE LIMES INSTALLATION Alice Yard, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
2011 TWINNED TOWERS Leila Heller Gallery, New York, USA
2010 HALL OF MIRRORS XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2009 MUSEUM NO. 1: HIZBOLLAH’S CAVIAR Rose Issa Projects, London, UK
2009 TERRORISM KILLS XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2008 DESCENDED INTO HEAVEN Ground Zero, New York, USA
2007 FBI AND CHOCOLATE Penn Station, Baltimore, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2015 THREE DAYS OF PRIDE Big Black Box, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
2014 WHAT REMAINS Rose Issa Projects, London, UK
2013 SELECT WORKS Leila Heller Gallery, New York, USA
2012 KALLIPHILIA Vegas Gallery, London, UK
2011 MAY GOD BLESS HER The Woodmill, London, UK
2011 BETWEEN THE LINES XVA Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2010 THE STATE Traffic Gallery, Dubai UAE
2010 JAMM CONTEMPORARY Kuwait City, Kuwait
2007 IN MEMORIAM Lipsum Gallery, Venice, Italy
2007 SUBSURFACE Arthaus, Homerton, London, UK
2006 ART IN MIND Brick Lane Gallery, London, UK
2006 DEEPER DEPRESSION Atbin & Zangar Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2005 TWO CITIES Orfali Gallery, Amman, Jordan
2005 OUT OF OUR ELEMENT 95 Canal & Chamber Gallery, New York, USA
2004 AXIS, OFFSCREEN Briggs Robinson Gallery, New York, USA
2004 CURIOUS, OFFSCREEN Galleri 27, Oslo, Norway
2004 MISADVENTURE, OFFSCREEN Prince’s Foundation, London, UK
2004 HYPE II Hype Gallery, Paris, France
2004 INTERNATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHERS Abc Treehouse, Amsterdam, Netherlands
2004 DEEPRESSION Atbin Gallery, Tehran, Iran2004 HYPE Hype Gallery, London, UK
2003 THIRD EYE Orfali Gallery, Amman, Jordan
2003 NEW BLOOD, OFFSCREEN Orfali Gallery, Amman, Jordan
2003 GULF, OFFSCREEN Bait Muzna, Musqat, Oman
2002 SAME HERE, OFFSCREEN Seyhoun Gallery, Tehran, Iran


OFF SCREEN: Four Young Artists in the Middle East Booth Clibborn Editions (2004)
June 2004; US, Europe, Asia.
Distributed by: Thames & Hudson
ISBN: 1-86154-271-2


NEW YORK OBSERVER (24/08/11) ‘Ten-Year Retrospective’ by Daniel D’Addario
NEW YORK TIMES (25/09/11) ‘9/11 in the Arts: An Anniversary Guide’ by Kathryn Shattuck
CANVAS (11/10) ‘Art Scene London: Homi Bhabha at Jamm’ (p.66)
FRIEZE (10/10) ‘Neither Here Nor There’ (page 136)
CANVAS (09/10 Issue 6 Vol 5) ‘A Space To Show’ by Sue Pennell (pp.104-113)
CANVAS GUIDE (14/09/2010) ‘Neither Here Nor There’
KHALEEJ TIMES (05/03/10) ‘Deep Reflections’ by Anu Prabhakar
TIME OUT DUBAI (12/02/10) ‘Hall of Mirrors’ (page 40)
GULF NEWS (29/01/10) ‘Takes on face value’ by Jyoti Kalsi (pp. 16-17)
ART NEWSPAPER (01/01/10) ‘Hall of Mirrors’ (page 35)
DUBAI EYE RADIO (18/01/10) ‘The Edge‘ by Siobhan Live 12.00pm-12.30pm
AL WASSLA (16/01/10) ‘Aesthetic Event Guide’
DUBAI EYE RADIO (16/01/10) ‘Saturday Extra‘ by John Deykin and Elaine Wolfenden 9.45am-10am
THE NATIONAL (13/01/10) ‘A New Wave’ by Ed Lake
THE ART NEWSPAPER (01/01/10) Al Braithwaite Vs Abdulnasser Gharem
LIBAS (01/08/09. Issue 22) ‘Hizbollah’s Caviar’ by Russell Harris (pp. 174-177)
CANVAS GUIDE (01/08/09) ‘Heading on East’ by James Parry (pp. 12-13)
KILIMANJARO (01/09/09) ‘‘We’ i.e.’ Lee Johnson interviews Al Braithwaite (pp7-9)
TIME OUT (06/05/09) ‘Al Braithwaite: Rose Issa Projects’ by Gabriel Coxhead
ARTMARKET BLOG (02/05/09) ‘Al Braithwaite at Rose Issa Projects’ by Nick Forrest
CULTURE 24 (07/05/09) ‘Al Braithwaite’s Middle Eastern escapades subvert War on Terror’, by Ben Miller
THE LONDONPAPER (28/04/2009) ‘Al Braithwaite: Museum No.1: Hizbollah’s Caviar’ by Jessica Holland
THE ART NEWSPAPER (17/03/09) ‘Terrorism Kills’ (page 3)
BANT (Temmuz 05) ‘Off Screen’ (pp.10-13)
AL GHAD (25/11/04) ‘European Eyes set on the spirituality of the Orient and its secrets’, by Maysa Zuraiqat
JO (11/04) ‘Breaking Ground’, by Ghassan Shanti (pp.23-24)
JORDAN TIMES (12/11/04) ‘Beyond the image’, by Ica Wahbeh (Weekender, page 4)
AL ARAB AL YAWM (16/10/2004) ‘A tour by British youth in the Islamic World to document what they saw with text and image’, by Hada Sarhan (back page)
THE STAR (14-20/10/04) ‘Off Screen: A Journey through the Middle East’, by Mike Derderian (page 11)
UTROP (9-22/9/04) ‘Bak kulissene i Midtøsten’, by Parisa Radpey (page 17)
DAGBLADET (15/8/04) ‘Bildene vi ikke får se på tv’, by Sarah Serheim (pp. 46-47)
DAGBLADET (11/8/04) ‘Stiller ut sine møter med Midtøsten’, by Ingvild Gjerstad (page 8)
SUNDAY SUN (14/11/04) ‘Talents of Arabia’, by Sarah Robertson (page 23)
NRC HANDELSBLAD (30/7/04) ‘Heel anders dan op televisie’, by Corine Vloet (Cultureel Supplement & Boeken page 1)
ARCHES (Autumn 04) ‘Making Art in the Middle East’, by Joel Burden (pp. 12-13)
EMEL (7-8/04) ‘Off Screen: four young artists in the Middle East’, by Isla Rosser-Owen (pp. 93-95)
TRACE (8/04) ‘Beyond Boundaries’
i-D (8/04) ‘Rehumanise Yourself’
THE TIMES (12/6/04) ‘Image of the Week’, by Nancy Durrant (review page 24)
THE TIMES (11/6/04) ‘First Choice’ (page 48)
METRO (10/6/04) ‘Remnants of Colonial Rule, by Bel Jacobs (page 53)
METRO (9/6/04) ‘Art thrives in war-torn Iraq’, by Bel Jacobs (page 47)
AL QUDS AL ARABI (8/6/04) ‘Four Artists set out on a one year tour of the East in search of different picture to Orientalism’, by Ibrahim Darwish
METRO (8/6/04) ‘Children living with terror’, by Bel Jacobs (page 37)
METRO (7/6/04) ‘Artists’ brush with Islam’, by Bel Jacobs (pp.44-45)
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH (6/6/04) ‘A long way from Slough’, by Daisy Garnett (Review, page 5)
THE INDEPENDENT (28/5/04) ‘Pick of the Picture Books’ (p.27)
GEOGRAPHICAL (8/04) ‘A brush with the Middle East’, by Christian Amodeo (pp.67-73)
O HELL (7/04) ‘Off Screen’
THE BIG ISSUE (7-13/6/04) ‘Snapshot’, by Laura Bryant
SOAS SPIRIT (10-12/03) ‘Visions of Islam’, by Sakhr Al-Makhadhi
PLAN B (6/03) ‘Desert Arts’, by Charles Williams
AR-RAJ (12/5/03) ‘Press Conference for the artists on the eve of the exhibition, Visions of Islam, bridging the gap between East and West’
THE JORDAN TIMES (12/5/03) ‘Visions of Islam on display at Orfali Gallery’, by Hada Sarhan
THE STAR (15-21/5/03) ‘21st century view of Islam as seen by western artists’, by Mike Derderian
SAUDI GAZETTE (28/2/03) ‘Artists on a mission with a cause’, by Faisal Mahmoud Bajaber & Mohammed Zoheb B. Patel
YEMEN TIMES (12/5/03) ‘Art message, visions of Islam in Britain’, by Fahmia al-Fotih (page 14)
ADVENTURE OMAN: the lifestyle magazine (5-6/03) ‘Visions of Islam’, by Jane Jaffer (pp. 26-29)
OMAN DAILY OBSERVER: Youth Observer (22/3/06) ‘3 Intrepid 21st Century Explorers’, by Dr Patricia Groves (page 6)
OMAN DAILY OBSERVER (9/2/03) ‘3 Intrepid 21st Century Explorers’, by Dr Patricia Groves (pp 1-2, Features section)
GULF NEWS TABLOID (18/1/03) ‘A journey with a mission’, by Sonali Raha (page 3)
JAM-E-JAM (5/1/03) ‘I am lost’, by Hosein Sharif
TEHRAN TIMES (22/12/02) ‘Original Portrayal of Contemporary Islamic World Through ‘Visions of Islam’’, by Manijeh Rezapour
HAMSHAHRI (21/12/02) ‘The Stars of the Earth’, by Nafisseh Koohnavard
JAM-E-JAM (16/12/02) ‘Three European Youths depict Islamic World in their paintings’, by Mansooreh Narimani (page 4)
TEHRAN TIMES (2/12/02) ‘Visions of Islam’ (back page)
LONDRA GAZETE (3/10/02) ‘Artists take creative journey through Islam’ (page 1)

Exhibition Statement: Breathe In

WE LIVE WITHIN an imperceptible vocabulary of shared images, a visual vernacular of logos, signs, brands and flags. When encountered individually these symbols are dominant and unrelenting, persistently clobbering our senses and pestering our judgement. We breathe them in but can not digest them. They are prone to get stuck in our throats, to clog up our arteries, to give us mental indigestion.

If in this exhibition we had been presented with these brands rather than their absence, we would have been relentlessly surrounded by images starchy and thickened with meaning: noisy, demanding, hard-selling. In that environment of blaring adverts and crushing news,the human being is rendered inconsequential and hopeless, ravaged and pecked by the dive-bombing twitter crows, squashed under the leaden wheels of rolling news, Lilliputians railing impotently against a giant hinge-armed Marlboro Man.

In rendering the symbols unrecognisable, bitifying them, Al has made them available for play and for imaginative use. The symbols are broken up and we are invited to imaginatively frolic in the ruins, in vacated spaces, breathe them in and exhale.

The works suggest an infinite jigsaw puzzle in which only twelve pieces remain. We get the impression that if only we could comprehend it in a certain way, to find the right configuration of pieces side-by-side, we could make up a single image, complete the jigsaw, feel the ether. Could this meaning be found (as the sage retold), in “the hedge at the bottom of the garden”? To know the wood, you must apprehend the trees. Al lets us play in these trees, these hedges: partial truths – specks, flecks, slivers andvertices – of the totality which we cannot see.

As the search for meaning traces ever diminishing orbits, what should be sharper mea- surements turn out to be lush skin-like textures and rich layers. In closing our attention down into the blackness (risking the fate of Thales, falling into a pit while seeking patterns in the sky) we find a textural, handpainted landscape which suggests deepening fecundity and complexity, what Barthes might call a phenomenology of assembling, a junction of components. The freeway symbol, representing directness and perspectival forward motion, has been rendered gloriously maze-like. The violence of the news cycle (with a capital vee) becomes the little place where Schopenhauer’s shoe pinches his foot. Inspection of the picture frames reveals the aura of white gold, dissenting and deflecting from the apparent dichromatic certainties of the interior. This excites and stimulates us more than the substance – the brand-as-symbol – could itself. If the brand signs swallowed whole would give us indigestion, these enriching pieces can be employed for more humane, more healing, purposes.

Robert Adès Marseille, 2015