Alia Ali (Austria, 1985) is a Yemeni-Bosnian-American multi-media artist. She depicts her subjects in vividly patterned traditional textiles to reveal layered global histories of colonialism, migration, imperialism, and war. Her striking studio portraits conceal the identities of subjects entirely covered by these fabrics. The artist’s peripatetic life, which has brought her to nearly 70 countries, informs her interest in excavating and tracing the complex provenance of global textile techniques like indigo- and wax-resistant dyeing. Her series “FLUX” (2019–21), which considers the identity politics and colonial histories of wax-print textiles, has been widely exhibited, including in a 2020 solo exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. While the visual appeal of her richly colored, enigmatic images registers immediately, Ali applies a rigorous research-based approach to every series. Her works, which present cultural exchanges and thefts across time, are in the collections of institutions including the British Museum, the Princeton University Art Museum, and the Tucson Museum of Art.

Solo Exhibitions

Al-Falak, Arab American National Museum, work commissioned by the Andrew Mellon Foundation, Dearborn, Michigan, USA (forthcoming)
حب (ḥub) // LOVE, curated by Rebecca McGrew, Benton Museum of Art, Claremont, CA
النجم الأحمر // The Red Star, FOTO WIEN 2022, Vienna, Austria (forthcoming)
WARP, Foto Relevance, Houston, TX, USA (forthcoming)
FLUX, Tucson Museum of Art, Tucson, Arizona, USA (forthcoming)

Mot(if), 193 Gallery, Paris, France 
FLOW, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, Frankfurt, Germany 
Vocal Motifs, Contour Gallery, Rotterdam, Netherlands (forthcoming)
Art BASEL Miami Beach, Artsy, Foto Relevance, Galerie Peter Sillem and 193 Gallery, Miami, FL 
CONTEXT Art Miami, 193 Gallery, Miami, FL (forthcoming)
Cartographies of Pattern, Foto Relevance, Houston, Texas, USA 
Patterned Paradigms, Octavia Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA 
FLUX & MIGRATION, Photo London Art Fair, Galerie Peter Sillem, London, UK 
MIGRATION, PhotoBasel Art Fair, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, Basel, Switzerland 
MIGRATION, ArtParis Art Fair, 193 Gallery, Paris, France 
FLUX, UNSEEN, Contour Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands
INDIGO, DeKunstRAI Art Fair, Contour Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands 
Refracted Futures, curated by Aubrey Hobart, Roswell Museum and Art Center, Roswell, New Mexico, USA
FLUX, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, Art Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 

Project Series 53: ALIA ALI, Benton Museum of Art, Claremont, California, USA
Indigo, Intersect Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, USA
FLUX, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
FLUX, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, Photo London, London, United Kingdom
FLUX, Intersect Aspen, Aspen, Colorado, USA
Hommage, Galerie Siniya 28, Marrakech, Morocco

FLUX, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, Frankfurt, Germany 
ALIA ALI, Galerie Siniya 28, 1:54 Contemporary African Art Fair, El Fenn, Marrakech, Morocco
ALIA ALI, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, art KARLSRUHE, Karlsruhe, Germany
BORDERLAND, Galerie—Peter Sillem, Photo London, London, United Kingdom 
UNDER THREAD, California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California, USA
FLUX, Galerie Siniya 28, Marrakech, Morocco

BORDERLAND, East of West Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
BORDERLAND, Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, Oregon, USA 
BORDERLAND, Dana Hall, Wellesley, Massachusetts, USA

BORDERLAND, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
BORDERLAND, Mondo Galeria, Madrid, Spain
BORDERLAND, Galerie Siniya 28, Marrakech, Morocco
+|-, Space Gallery, Portland, Maine, USA
BORDERLAND, Emery Arts Center, Farmington, Maine, USA
BORDERLAND, Galerie—Peter—Sillem, Frankfurt, Germany 

REFLECT, Center for Government & International Studies Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA 
PROCESS, Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA, USA

Group Exhibitions

Woven, curated by Yas Lime, Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK (November)
BORDERLAND, Intersect 21 Palm Springs, California, USA
Reflections: Contemporary Art of the Middle East and North Africa, British Museum, London, UK
Conflict is More Profitable Than Peace and مهجر // Mahjar, FotoWien, Kunst Haus Wien, Museum HundertWasser, Vienna, Austria (postponed to 2022)

Phantoms, Ruins, and Reflections: Contemporary Art from Yemen, curated by Sama'a Alhamdani, European Union High Commission, Brussels, Belgium
Billboard Creative 2020, Los Angeles, California, USA

Modest Fashion, curated by Rajae El Mouhandiz and Alexandra van Dongen, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Schiedam, The Netherlands
Text Comes from Textile, Currents Multi Media Festival, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
...from the dry wind we hear an echo, curated by Julie Cabral & Christina Niazian. SWANA Collective, Santa Clarita, California, USA

Something Else, Off Biennale Cairo, Cairo, Egypt
Tribe: Contemporary Photography from the Arab World, Katzen Museum, American University, Washington D.C., USA
I AM, Caravan Arts, St. Paul's Cathedral, Burlington, Vermont, USA 
Whether Weather, True False Film & Art Festival, Columbia, Missouri, USA
I AM, Caravan Arts, Vanderbuilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA 
I AM, Caravan Arts, Center for the Arts, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA

Tokyo International Foto Awards Exhibition (TIFA), Tokyo, Japan 
Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN Festival), Arts Canteen, London, United Kingdom 
I AM, Caravan Arts, National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan 
I AM, Caravan Arts, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Trafalgar Square, London, United Kingdom
Ephemera Obscura curated by Aaron Levi Garvey, Group Show, Contemporary Arts Center, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Alice C. Cole Alumnae Exhibition, Wellesley College, USA 
I AM, Caravan Arts, Katzen Arts Center (American University), Washington D.C., USA

Limitless ’n Infinite, Heritage Space, Hanoi, Vietnam
Red, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates 
Masks, SE Center of Photography, Greenville, South Carolina, USA
Collector’s Favorites, ROSEGALLERY, Los Angeles, California, USA
Stillness & Distance, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Festival, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015, PhotoLONDON, Somerset House, London, UK
Laboratoire de la Mondialité, KE’CH Collective, Marrakech Biennale 6, Marrakech, Morocco

Currents 2015, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA
Shades of Inclusion, Open Door Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
+91, Le Dix Huit Espace d’Art, Marrakech, Morocco
Yo, la peor de todas (Nan Goldin paradigma), Mondo Galeria, Madrid, Spain

Féminin Pluriel: Haiti Project, Dar Bellarj, Marrakech, Morocco
I SPEAK IN IMAGE, Permanent virtual exhibition - http://ispeakinimage.com,(Tanzania/Kyrgyzstan/Mongolia/Nepal/India)


Space Gallery, Portland, Maine, USA
Pico de Refigio Artist Residency, Riberia Grande, Azores, Portugal

Indochina Arts Partnership, Hanoi, Vietnam 
Paradise AiR, Matsudo, Japan 
Obracadobra Artist Residency, Oaxaca, Mexico
KE’CH Collective, Marrakech, Morocco

Rising Artist Residency, Arts Connect International, New Orleans, USA
Le 18, Marrakech, Morocco

Awards & Grants

Winner, Emerging Artist Competition (US Jury), Magenta Foundation, Toronto, Canada 
Finalist, Open Theme Award Judged by Loulou d’Aki. The Independent Photographer
Finalist, Siena International Photography Awards, Sienna, Italy

Winner (Gold - Fine Art Category), Tokyo International Foto Awards 2016
Winner (Silver - Abstract Category), Tokyo International Foto Awards 2016
Winner, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2016
Winner, Alice C. Cole ’42 Alumnae Award, Wellesley College
Winner, Top 3 Select Juror's Awards, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards 2016
Finalist, International Emerging Artist Awards Art Fair Dubai ’16

Finalist, LensCulture Exposure Awards 2015 
Rising Artist Award, Arts Connect International

Travel & Documentary Photography Award, Colors of Saudi Forum under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Sultan Ben Selman

Most Distinguished Artist Award, Wellesley College

Lecturas / Workshops

In dialogue with Joud Halawani al-Tamimi, Arab Women Artists Now (AWAN) Festival, Rich Mix, London, United Kingdom
Speaking in Image, Workshop, Gulf Photo Plus, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Conversation with Nguyen Qui Duc, Tadioto, Hanoi, Vietnam
Artist Talk, Heritage Space of Hanoi, Hanoi, Vietnam
People of Pattern, Workshop, Heritage Space of Hanoi, Vietnam 
Artist Talk, Paradise AiR, Matsudo, Japan
Artist Talk, Kuala Lumpur International Photo Awards, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Artist Talk, Obracadrobra Artist Residency, Oaxaca, Mexico

I SPEAK IN IMAGE, Speaker, TEDxMarrakeshInto the Image, Speaker & Workshop, Harvard University

Speaker & Panelist, Colors of Saudi Arabia Forum
Speaker, Diwan Artist Talk Series of Féminin Pluriel, Marrakech, Morocco
Speaker, Siddharta Art Gallery, Kathmandu, Nepal
“Can Biennials Expand and Democratize Culture?” Panelist, Biennial Foundation, Marrakech, Morocco


Member, LensCulture
Member, New Orleans Photo Alliance
Artist Leader, Arts Connect International