Lalla Essaydi  (Moroccan, 1956) 

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Lalla Essaydi (Moroccan, b.1956) is a painter and photographer. Her work focuses on the Arab female identity in a 19th-century Orientalist style. She is well-known for hand-drawn Arabic calligraphy paintings done with henna on different types of surfaces, such as fabric, bodies, and even walls. Her style reflects her training and expertise in constructing intricately set Figurative compositions. Born and raised in Morocco, Essaydi lived in Saudi Arabia before relocating to the United States. She studied art at the L'Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, France, between 1990 and 1994. In 1999, she graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Tufts University in Medford, MA. She later received a Masters of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, MA, in 2003. The artist also holds a diploma in Photography from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Inspired by 19th-century Orientalist works, Essaydi is known for paintings that combine Islamic calligraphy and representations of the female body with Western painting traditions. She frequently addresses the complexities of female identity in the Arab traditions from a personal perspective. Her works are a reflection of her Moroccan girlhood, depicting a woman caught between the past and the present. Her paintings explore Orientalist mythology through imagery from a Modernist point of view. Essaydi has also worked in other forms of media including video, analog photography, and film installation.

Some of the artist’s famous collections include Revisions, which is a selection of photographs, paintings, and multimedia installations, Converging Territories, which is a series of paintings set at her family home in Morocco, and Les Femmes du Maroc, which she keeps in her studio in Boston, MA. Essaydi’s paintings and photographic works are exhibited at the Schneider Gallery in Chicago, IL, the Edwynn Hook Gallery in New York, NY, and the Howard Yezerski Gallery in Boston. Her collection can also be found at the Fries Museum in the Netherlands. She currently lives and works in New York and Marrakesh, Morocco.

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Lalla Essaydi, Harem Revisited #47

 

Lalla Essaydi
Harem Revisited #47
2013

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #3

 

Lalla Essaydi
Bullets Revisited #3
2012

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Bullets Revisited #20

 

Lalla Essaydi
Bullets Revisited #20
2012

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Bullets #5

 

Lalla Essaydi
Bullets #5
Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Bullets #3

 

Lalla Essaydi
Bullets #3
Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Harem Revisited #53B

 

Lalla Essaydi
Harem Revisited #53B
2012

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Harem Revisited #50

 

Lalla Essaydi
Harem Revisited #50
2012

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Harem Revisited #44

 

Lalla Essaydi
Harem Revisited #44
2012

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Lalla Essaydi, Harem Revisited #33

 

Lalla Essaydi
Harem Revisited #33
2012

Jenkins Johnson Gallery
Past auction results (79)  View All
Lalla Essaydi, Untitled

 

Lalla Essaydi
Untitled, 2003
chromogenic print, coated w/mactac lustre laminate

 

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Lalla Essaydi, Harem Beauty (triptych)

 

Lalla Essaydi
Harem Beauty (triptych), 2008
chromogenic print, mntd

 

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Lalla Essaydi, Les Femmes du Maroc: Grande Odalisque

 

Lalla Essaydi
Les Femmes du Maroc: Grande Odalisque, 2008
chromogenic print

 

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1956   Born in Morocco
1994   Curriculum in Painting and Continuing Education, L'Ecole Des Beaux Arts, Paris, France
1999   Diploma in Photography and Installation, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
1999   B.F.A., Tufts University, Medford, MA
2003   M.F.A., School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  Lives and works in New York, NY
2013   Lalla Essaydi: Boundaries, Amelia Johnson Contemporary, Hongkong (Solo)
2012   Lalla Essaydi: Revisions, A Retrospective, Smithsonian African Museum of Art, Washington, DC (solo)
2012   Les Femmes du Magreb, Orientalist Museum, Qatar, Arab Emirat (solo)
2011 - 2012   Lalla Essaydi: Recent Works, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA (solo)
2011   Lalla Essaydi: Les Femmes du Maroc, Galerie Edwynn Houk zur Stockeregg, Zürich, Switzerland (solo)
2011   Les Femmes du Maroc, Karen Jenkins Johnson Gallery, San Francisco, CA (solo)
2011   Lalla Essaydi: Power of Writing, National Gallery, Tanger, Morocco (solo)
2010 - 2011   Lalla Essaydi: Harem, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2010   Harem, Ateliaer 21 Gallery, Casablanca, Morocco (solo)
2010   Les Femmes du Maroc, Bates Museum of Art Bates, ME (solo)
2010   Les Femmes du Maroc, Longyear Museum of Anthropology, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY (solo)
2010   Les Femmes du Maroc, Zimmerli Museum at Rutgers, New Brunswick, NJ (solo)
2009   Summer Exhibition, A Selection of Works by Gallery Artists, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, NY
2009   Les Femmes du Maroc, deCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, Lincoln, MA (solo)
2009   Les Femmes du Maroc, Sultan Gallery, Kuwait City, Kuwait (solo)
2009   Les Femmes du Maroc, Sultan Gallery, Marrakech, Morocco (solo)
2008   Embodiment, Howard Yezerski Gallery Boston, MA
2008   Indelible: The Photographs of Lalla Essaydi, First Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN
2008   Crossroads, Waterhouse & Dodd, London, UK (solo)
2008   Far From Home, North Carolina Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC
2008   Presumed Innocence: Photographic Perspectives of Children, DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA
2008   Les Femmes du Maroc, Anya Tish Gallery, Houston, TX (solo)
2007   Lalla Essaydi: Les Femmes du Maroc, Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2007   Contemporary, Cool and Collected, Mint Museum of Art, in Charlotte, NC
2007   Transformation, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
2007   The Silk Road and Beyond: Travel, Trade, and Transformation, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
2006   Les Femmes du Maroc. Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL
2006   Converging Territories, The New Britain Museum of Art, New Britain, CT
2006   Converging Territories, Joel Soroka Gallery, Aspen, CO
2006   Transgressions, Williams College Museum, Williamstown, MA
2006   Converging Territories, Jackson Fine Arts, Atlanta, GA
2006   Converging Territories, Lisa Sette Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ
2006   NAZAR, IFA Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2005 - 2006   NAZAR, The IFA Gallery, Stuttgart, Germany
2005   The Painted Word, Lafayette College, Williams Center for the Arts Museum, Easton, PA
2005   Only Skin Deep: Changing Visions of the American Self, Museum of Photographic ARTS, San Diego, CA
2005   Converging Territories, Laurence Miller Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
2005   Converging Territories, Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA (solo)
2005   NAZAR, Houston Fotofestival, Houston, TX
2005   The 2005 DeCordova Museum Annual Exhibitions, Lincoln, MA
2005   Rewind/Re-Cast/Review, Photography show, The Ramapo College Art Galleries, Mahwah, NJ
2005   In the Company of Women, Williams College Museum of Art, Willamstown, MA
2005   About Face: Photographic Portraits from the Collection, Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
2004   8th International Photography Gathering, Le Pont Gallery, Aleppo, Syria
2004   Festival, Fries Museum: Through Arab Eyes, Leewarden, Netherlands
2004   The Melting: An Evolution of American Culture, RockefellerArt Center - Department of Visual Arts and New Media, Fredonia, NY
2004   NAZAR – Photographs from the Arab World, Noorderlicht Photofestival, Curated by Wim Melis, Leeuwarden, the Netherlands
2004   The Melting: An Evolution of American Culture, Rockefeller Arts Center, State University of New York, Fredonia, NY
2004   Lalla A. Essaydi, Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2003   Threshold, A painting show at Mario Diacono, Ars Libri, Boston, MA (solo)
2003   Converging Territories, Howard Yezerski Gallery, Boston, MA (solo)
2002   The Boit, Grossman Gallery, The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (solo)
2002   Invitational Show, Karsh Photography Exhibition, MFA (solo)
2001   Photography Show, Schneider Gallery, Chicago, IL (solo)
2001   Annual Juried Painting Exhibition Show, School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (solo)
  Brooklyn Museum of Art, Brooklyn, NY
  Kodak Museum of Art, Rochester, NY
  Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown, MA
  Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Farmville, VA
  Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN
  Chicago Art Institute, Chicago, IL
  Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA
  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
  Kresge Art Museum, East Lansing, MI
  Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus, OH
  Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX