الفنان فتحي حسن

He was born to a Nubian family in Cairo in 1957. His father Hassan was Sudanese, his mother Fatma originally from Toshka (Kom Ombo – Upper Egypt).

The matriarchal traditions of this area surely contributed to Fathi’s developing artistic mentality.
The terrible flooding of the Nile in Upper Egypt entirely changed his family’s life, as with
many others, and much of what was salvaged was largely thanks to the massive intervention by

Cairo then became the home of the family and grandparents : from well-off landowners to simple
city workers.
The famous sculptor Ghaleb Khater was his teacher at Cairo’s Kerabia Middle School, and it was
he who first discovered his pupil’s talent.

Again, in the heart of the capital, a famous Egyptian library “Madbuli” in Via Soliman Bashià,
became the place where the young artist starts reading in depth, and in particular reads about Italian
Renaissance Art.
A grant in 1979 allowed him to enter the Art School in Naples, Italy, where he studied Set Design
under Professor Ottaviano. Here, at a particularly fruitful time for the Arts, Hassan met many
important figures, among whom Lucio Amelio, Filiberto Menna, Enrico Crispolti, Gabriele
Perretta, Mario Martone (with whom he played a modern “romantic” Othello together with the
Naples “Falso Movimento” theatre group.)
He graduated in 1984.
Due to an article, he was invited to Pesaro, in the Marches region of Italy, by the magazine
Frigidaire. Here he had the opportunity to exhibit at the Deposito Figure Gallery, and the artist
decided to move to the area.
In 1988 he was the first African artist present at the “Open 88” section of the Venice Modern Art
His work is also part of the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Fathi Hassan’s work belongs to an “image – writing” dimension: Nubian oral speech intertwined
with Arabic calligraphy is preserved and sent down through generations in his “Containers of
The desert, the colour white and silence all become echoes of his predecessors and their spirituality.
Thus, we find works such as Containers of Memory, Dreams, Light, Angel , Safir and Africa. There
are also entire series of works dedicated to the figures of saints, black warriors, Madonnas, leaves,
and holy Maps of the World.
The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C. invited him to prepare a
site specific installation for the museum in January 2002, thanks to the intervention of Mary Angela
Schroth of Rome’s Sala Uno Gallery. In 2006 the artist exhibited at the October Gallery, London,
in the exhibition Text Messages. Mary Angela also signals the artist to Senegal’s 2008 Dakar
Biennial, in which he takes part.
December 2008 finds the artist at the Museo Nazionale Villa Pisani (Stra, Venice) in an exhibition
that pays homage to the various stages of his artistic career.


Fathi Hassan: Haram Aleikum, Rose Issa Projects
at Leighton House Museum, London
Black is Beautiful, Galleria Black, Bologna

Working Week, MQ91 Art Project Space, Berlin
Invites, Museum Arnhem, Netherlands
Leave the Prophets, Villa Pisani, Stra, Veneto
Containers of Light, Art Andrea, Vicenza
The Combination of Living, Espace Maria Sorgato, Venice
Adreatica, Permariemonti Gallery, Civitanova Marche
In Any Order, San Gemini, Umbria
Arabian World Festival, San Severina, Cortona
Water, The Music, Soul, Auditorium San Margherita, Venice
Kenuz, Domus Artis Gallery, Naples
Africa Dreams, Gallery Genus,
San Benedetto del Tronto, Le Marche

Inscribing Meaning, Fowler Museum, Los Angeles
and Smithsonian Museum of African Art, Washington DC
Musk, Benciv Art Gallery, Pesaro
The Temple of Wind, Gallery Genus, San Benedetto del Tronto
Ancient Kilns, Migration of Dreams, Macerata City, Macerata
The Sandman, Manor Gallery, Rome

Mummy Mama, Teatro della Fortuna, Fano

The Metamorphosis of the Spirit,
Galleria Sergio & Thao Mandelli, Seregno
Fathi Hassan: Sand Creatures, Galleria Novato, Fano

Containers of Light, Graphique Art Gallery, Bologna
Descent of the Gods, Fusion Art Gallery, Turin
United Africa, Andrea Gallery, Vicenza
The Substance of the Soul, Benciv Art Gallery, Pesaro
Mansur’s House, Michetti Museum, Francavilla, Pescara
Angel, Egyptian Academy, Rome
The Madonna in Contemporary Art, Loggiato San Bartolomeo, Palermo
Palermo, The Sicily of the Arabs, Loggiato San Bartolomeo, Palermo

9th Cairo International Biennale, Egypt
Illustrations pour Enfants, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris
Africa Screams, Bayreuth, Germany
Places of Affection, Brussels
Man’s Reaction To Kissing The Moon,
Gallery Grant, Cairo, Egypt
Imagining the Book, The Library of Alexandria, Egypt
Nile Sand, Archaeological Museum and Temple
of Fortune Primigenia, 
Municipality of Palestrina, Rome
The Acrobatics Of Innocence, Excalibur Gallery,
Arona, Stresa
The Art Yard, Municipality of Villaricca, Naples
Folklore Africa, Municipality of Altomonte, Cosenza
Fuoriluogo 8 Afritalia, Limiti Gallery,
Church of San Bartolomeo, Campobasso
The Sea, Molfetta, Bari
In Words, Sassari, Sardinia
Fathi Hassan, Spazio Symphonia, Milan

Africamarvel, Municipality of Rastatt, Germany
A Postmodern Babel: Italian Art of the 1990s,
Palazzo Pegorini, Parma
Spirit Matter, travelling show: Art-Pro-Art, Lahr,
Germany; Benciv Art Gallery, Pesaro; Galleria
Oprandi, Bergamo; Galleria Rosini, Riccione
Desertwind, Palazzo degli Esposizioni Roof Garden, Rome
Transits, Palazzo Albani, Municipality of Urbino
The Deepest Nights Hide No Evil, Spirale Arte,
Pietrasanta, Florence
Do Not Fear Indulgence, Spirale Arte, Verona
Artists On A Boat, Pio Monte Gallery, Rome
It Was Dark, The Nashe Whispered His Tale To Her,
Two Doves Took Flight And They Were Not White, Galleria dell’Immagine, Municipal Museums, Rimini
Africa and That’s Not All, Sala Uno, Rome
Start-up, Municipality of Cologne, Brescia
For 5, Benciv Art Gallery, Pesaro
My Mind is at Walk Through a Forest, ASL 1, Pesaro
Welcome 02, Palazzo Sora, Palazzo Esposizioni, Rome

Alleviating Unstoppable Impulses, University of Pavia
Gold Imagination, Vanvitelliana Pier, Ancona
Capriccio, Comune di Valgatara, Verona
Fathi e Misfatti, Monti Gallery, Rome
El Mersal, Pack Gallery, Milan
Between Sky and Earth, Monti Gallery, Rome
Extra-Virgin, Trevi Flash Art Museum, Perugia, Umbria

Transafricana, S. Giorgio in Poggiale, Bologna
Container of Dreams, Centre for Visual Arts, Pesaro
Postcard for Naples, Palazzo Reale, Naples
Sacrosanct, Municipal Gallery of Modern Art, Rome
Etna: Geography of the Incredible, Mazzullo
Foundation, Palermo

Contemporary African Art, Italian
Institute for Africa and the Orient, Rome
Trittico, Biblo Gallery, Treviso
Beata Africa, travelling show: Rosini Gallery,
Riccione; Oprandi Gallery, Bergamo;
Una Arte Gallery, Fano; Skoto Gallery, New York
As Long As There’s Death, There’s Hope,
Trevi Flash Art Museum, Perugia, Umbria
Out of the Blue, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo
My Sister, the Palm, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo
Mimamsa Nubiana, Gasparelli Gallery, Fano

Containers of Thought, Seno Gallery, Milan
3 – Dime, Il Campo delle Fragole, Bologna
Simbolica – The Future of Painting, Doks Dora, Torino
Lady D, Trevi Flash Art Museum, Perugia, Umbria
Mediterranea, coll. G. Massoni and M. Baudson,
Brussels, Belgium

Under Different Skies, Vanlose, Denmark
Containers of the Soul, Ass. Mediterranea, Molfetta
I Kadiseen, Il Fiorile Gallery, Bologna
Tribute to Fathi Hassan, Rocca Malatestiana,
Municipality of Fano
Go, Thought, Italian Art 1984-1986, Civic Museum, Turin
Trittico, Oprandi Gallery, Bergamo
Artinceramica, Vietri sul Mare, Salerno and
Palazzo Reale, Naples
Container of Being, Seno Gallery, Milan

Container of Desire, Art NAW, Capua
Santa Africa, travelling show: Mashrabia Gallery,
Cairo and VSV, Torino
Africana, Contemporary African Art, Sala Uno, Rome
Black and White, L’Idioma Gallery,
Ascoli Piceno, Le Marche
After Ripe: Notes on Art in Le Marche at
the End of the 80s, Dedalos, San Severo
Symbolic, Fiera Pordenone, Treviso
Male and Female, Il Manifesto, Rome
Counterprofile in Red, Rispoli Gallery, Rome
Residence of the Gods, travelling show:
Villa Anselmi, Verona; Ponte Pietra Gallery,
Castel Ganda, Appiano (BZ)
Rose and Serpent, A. Signetti Gallery, Turin
Animum Reflectens, Paola Verrengia Gallery, Salerno

Containers of Memory, travelling show: Ronchini Contemporary Art, Terni and Palazzo Chigi, Viterbo
Containers of Dreams, travelling show: Annina Nosei Gallery, New York
and Annina Nosei Studio, Rome
My Africa, Per Mari e Monti Gallery, Macerata
Hunting Reserve: The Cat and the Fox, Monti Gallery, Rome
Things from the Other World, Trevi Flash Art Musem, Perugia, Umbria
Fiumara d’Arte, Tusa
Calligraphy, travelling show: Palazzo Fazio, Capua; Spaziotempo, Florence; and Livingart, Milan
Furor Popoli, Forum Popoli, Monti Romae

Saharian Conflict, Mashrabia Gallery, Cairo
Traces of Africa, Free Art, Turin
I’m not Marcel Duchamp, I’m Tutankhamun,
Una Arte Gallery, Fano
Meeting in Genova, Ellequadro Gallery, Genoa
Portait Self-portrait, Trevi Flash Art Museum, Perugia, Umbria
In Trance, Annina Nosei Gallery, Rome
The Way of Painting, Municipality of Sirolo, Milan
Sacred and Profane, Annina Nosei Gallery, Rome
Trevi ex Vero, Monti Gallery, Rome,
Dream a Dream, Roma Arte, Rome

Submerged Origins, Contemporanea Gallery,
Civitanova Marche
Mare Nostrum III, Immart Gallery, Rome
Dioce Calligrafie, S. Filippo Neri Monument, Turin
Presences, Rocca di Umbertide, Perugia
Art Is Life, Furniture Salon, Turin
Noah’s Ark, Trevi Flash Art Museum, Perugia, Umbria
Painting is Candid, Astuni Gallery, Fano
Art With a View, Palazzo Dragoni, Spoleto
Memory Paths, Montedinove, Ascoli

Painting for Words, L’Idioma Art Centre, Ascoli Piceno
Africa Dry Your Tears, Tana Libera Tutti, Cagli, Puglia
Mare Nostrum, Catania Art School, Catania
Ter-Dislocations of Art, Civic Gallery of
Contemporary Art, Termoli
P.S. 20 (40×50), La Pergola Gallery, Pesaro

Signs of Absence, Prisma Gallery, Verona
Al Rawi, Una Arte Gallery, Fano, Puglia
Contemporary Egyptian Artists, Egyptian Academy, Rome
Mediterranean Imaginary, Siracusa Art School, Siracusa
Akhnaton, Seven Contemporary Egyptian Artists, Palazzo dei Diamanti, Ferrara
Arte ’91 Padova, Quadrum Gallery, Imola, Bologna

If I Gave You My Soul Ten Times Over It Wouldn’t
Be Enough, Multimedia Gallery,
Meeting of Peoples, Villa Lazzarini, Rome
XXXIII Young Egyptian Artists, Egyptian Academy, Rome
Artefax, G. Marconi Award, Modern Art Gallery, Bologna
Theme and Variation, Falconiere Gallery, Ancona

The Village, La Parte du Sable Gallery, C. Roussillon, Cairo
Salone dell’arte giovane, Ministry of Culture Award, Egypt
The Artist Who Doesn’t Exist, Palazzo Valentini, Rome
The Flexibility of Space, Habitat Gallery, S. Severo
Seduction of the Real, Palazzo Comunale, City of Treia
Transit, F. Rosini Gallery, Riccione

The Nomad’s Memory, Egyptian Academy, Rome
Aperto ’88, XXIII Biennial of Modern Art, Venice
Circumnavigation Around Africa, Maschio Angioino, Naples
No Wall In Berlin, Ufa Fabrik, Berlin with Neon Gallery, Bologna
Indiscrete Confrontation, Egyptian Academy, Rome

Sahara, Neon Gallery, Bologna
Emergenze, Neon Gallery, Bologna

New Tendencies in Italy, travelling show:
Centro Grisanti, Milan and Perterre, Florence
Nubia, Deposito Figure, Pesaro
The Emotion of Daily Life, travelling show: Expo-Art,
Bari and d’Arecchi Castle, Salerno

A New Generation in Italian Art, Fortezza Medicea, Siena

City With No Boundaries, Pomigliano d’Arco, Naples

Arabicity, Rose Issa Projects at
Beirut Exhibition Center, Lebanon
Arabicity, Rose Issa Projects at the
Bluecoat Arts Centre, Liverpool

Adorned/Unadorned, Skot Gallery, New York

Dakar Biennale, Senegal
Words, Gallery PM Deanesi, Rovereto, Trento
In the Mediterranean, Ex Aurum, Pescara
Marina di Ravenna Award, Municipal Art
Museum of Ravenna
He is, Museum of Contemporary Art, Casoria
Red and White, MUSPAC, Aquila
The Hammer and Sickle, MUSPAC, Aquila

Fathi Hassan: Selected Works, Skot Gallery, New York
Contemporary Videofusion, Studio RO, Rome
Horizon Lines: Landscape Between Description
and Abstraction, Modern Art Gallery, Genoa
Roseto Dialectic, Pardes Research Laboratory
Of Contemporary Art, Venice
A Sea of Art, Palazzo Sant’Elia, Palermo
Italian Dreams and Dreaming of Italy, travelling show: Teatro Junghans at Gazes Sonora, Venice;
and Benevento, Rocca dei Rettori
Following Frascati, travelling show: Scuderia Aldobrandini; Teatro Studio, Auditorium
Parco della Musica, Rome; Church of the Holy
Spirit, Benevento; Isola di San Servolo, Venice;
Chiesa di San Galgano, Siena
Containers of the Soul, Being, Memory, s. Geo Museum Pedro Museum Erastus, Cortes, Puebla, Mexico
Sarah and the Angels, Gallery Novato, Fano

Freely, Miniaci Art Gallery, Milan
Sound’s Art, Opera 3, Florence,
Enigma exciting. Artists logically, Space Pardes,
Mirano, Venice
Text Messages: Five Contemporary Artists and the
Art of the Word, October Gallery, London
Ad Hoc, Sant’Agata de Goti, Benevento, Campania
Italian Dreams, GASP Gallery, Brookline, Massachusetts
Nature: Death and Resurrection, Villa Saghetti Panichi, Castel di Lama, Ascoli Piceno
History of Containers, Benciv Art Gallery, Pesaro

Looking into the Unknown, Benciv Art Gallery, Bologna
Textures: Word and Symbol in Contemporary African Art, Smithsonian National Museum of African Art,
Washington DC
Foreign Artists in the Marche, Atelier Arco Amoroso, Ancona
Inside Italians No.3, Italian Institute of Culture &
Novarum Projects, Copenhagen
XXIX Edition Art Biennale Aldo Roncaglia, San Felice
sul Panaro, Modena
Travelling show with the Oprandi Gallery, Bergamo, Hong Kong, Beirut, Brussels, Paris, and Granada

Capua – South East Direction, Campano Museum, Capua

Alflela: One Thousand Nights, Studio Ricerca
Aperta, Naples
Temperatura Flegrea, Terme di Baia, Naples

Fathi Hassan’s work is in the permanent collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum and the British Museum, London and The Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC.