Rehab El Sadek is an Egyptian-born artist of Sudanese ancestry whose career has spanned 25 years, 17 countries and 4 continents. She is an interdisciplinary artist working at the intersection of conceptual art, architecture, and language. In her work, she uses light, shadow, history, and memory to conceptualize meditative journeys through personal past and the ancient world. The largest influence on her work is the rich history of her native country and ancient civilizations. She often borrow colors, textures, and materials from antiquity. In a modest way, she likes to think she is contributing to a vernacular that's been around for thousands of years.
In 2017, El Sadek was named the City of Austin’s first Artist-in-Residence, exploring environmental and social issues embedded in a city department. she continued to explore similar themes with “Transient” at Prizer Arts & Letters Gallery, a social practice-focused exhibition in 2019. Also in 2019, she received a Foundation of Contemporary Art Emergency Grant supporting “The Memory Palace” her first solo exhibition in North America.
Residencies and Fellowships Recent and Forthcoming:
MacDowell (New Hampshire) 2020, Vermont Studio Center 2020, Good Hart Residency (stay-in-place) 2020, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (Omaha, NE) 2021, Anderson Center Residency (Redwing, MN) 2021.
Past Residencies: The UNESCO-supported Artists’ Bursaries at Gasworks Artists Studios London 1998, the Art Omi Residency (Ghent, NY) 2019, the Thami Mnyele Residency Award (Amsterdam) 2004, Townhouse Gallery International Residency (Cairo) 2003, Vasl Residency (Karachi) 2001, International Artists Residency, Kuona Trust of Nairobi 2000.
Early Career Highlights El Sadek's work has been exhibited widely nationally and internationally; some notable shows include:
REBELLE: Art and Feminism 1969-2009 An extensive forty-year survey of feminist artwork organized by the Museum voor Moderne Kunst in Arnhem (2009). She was one of eighty-eight female artists in the exhibition and she also presented at the 7th European Feminist Research Conference (Universiteit van Utrecht).
Biennale Dei Giovanni Artisti (1999) Early in her career, she was honored to be selected by notable artist/curator Jannis Kounellis for his Pavilion at Biennale Dei Giovanni Artisti in Rome.
Sharjah Biennial 4 (1999) Rehab received the Second Installation Prize at Sharjah Biennial 4 in the Emirates.
El Sadek's work has been exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions. Career highlights include: Museum voor Moderne kunst (Arnhem), L.A. Freewaves, MOCA Geffen LA, the Sharjah Biennial, Les Rencontres de la photographie africaine de Bamako, The Women's Museum (Dallas), Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna), Ashkal Alwan (Beirut), Borusan Art Center (Istanbul), CCCB-Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, The National Museum (Nairobi), Lumen Travo Gallery (Amsterdam),The Townhouse Gallery (Cairo), Arti et Amicitiae (Amsterdam), Galerie Xenois (Frankfurt), Queens College Art Center (NYC), Bibliotheca Alexandrina (Alexandria), Fortis Circustheater (The Hague), and Mexic-Arte Museum (Austin).
A 1994 graduate of the University of Alexandria (Egypt), El Sadek immigrated to the United States in 2006. She now lives and works in Austin, Texas.