Biography

Born in 1987 in Thrissur, Kerala, India
Lives and works in Amsterdam, The Netherlands

With an MFA in Painting from S.N. School of Arts, University of Hyderabad, and a BFA from Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur, Hisham’s artistic journey is deeply rooted in his upbringing in India.

Drawing inspiration from the Safavid, Mughal, Rajput, and Deccani art traditions, Hisham crafts portraits and tableaux that are mysterious and evocative. His scenes often depict his native India, yet the characters transcend geographical boundaries. Central to his work are themes of shared histories, hierarchy, and power, with a particular focus on religious conflicts and caste systems.

Hisham’s artistic expression finds form in paintings on canvas and wood, dry pastel, wood carvings, and casting powder. Working with powdered pigment, he sculpts from dust, echoing the belief that humans are created from and return to dust after death. Some pigments used by Hisham are derived from mined minerals, symbolizing the eternal cycle of creation and transformation.

Exploring the notions of desire, death, and memory, Hisham’s body of work delves into the multi-layered profundity of these themes, intertwining them with the social and cultural spaces he inhabits. He draws inspiration from various sources including cinema, pop culture, art history, mythology, and religion, inviting viewers to decipher the rich metaphors and symbols embedded within his art. In addition to his two-dimensional works, Hisham is currently exploring sculptural installations that delve into memories of inner space, exploring their potential connections to the idea of the Self.

CV

Education

MFA (Painting), S.N. School of Arts, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad

BFA (Painting) Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur, Kerala

Solo Exhibitions

  • 2019 ‘Abul Hisham – Recitation’, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • 2014 ‘Abul Hisham – New Works’, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • 2010 ‘DOMINATION’, Kashi Art Gallery, Kochi

Selected Group Exhibitions

  • 2024 Drawing Centre Diepenheim, Diepenheim, NL.
    De Scheffer Prize, Dordrechts Museum, Dordrecht, NL.
  • 2023
    “Between grains of sand(salt)”, Gas9Gallery, DK
    “Rijksakademie open studio 2023”, Amsterdam, NL.
  • 2022
    “Royal Painting Prize show 2022” at Royal Palais Amsterdam, NL.
    “An Ocean in Every Drop” at JAMEEL ART CENTRE, Dubai, U.A.E
    “From the roots of a banyan tree” at Galerie Martin Van Zomeran, Amsterdam, NL.
    “De Jacht”, Group show at Galerie Deschans, Amsterdam, NL.
    “Connection”, Group show at Galerie Bart Amsterdam, NL.
  • 2021
    “Rijksakademie open studio 2021”, Amsterdam, NL.
    Group show at Rijksakademie project space curated by Antonio Vega & Isabella Cornaro, Amsterdam, NL.
    ‘Lokame Tharavadu’, curated by Bose Krishnamachari, Alleppey, Kerala
  • 2019
    ‘In the Land of Downside Up’, curated by Nancy Adajania, Birla Art Academy, Kolkata, India.
  • 2018
    ‘Nine Painters from Kerala’, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • India Art Fair, New Delhi, presented by Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke
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  • 2017
    ‘DWELLING, 10th Anniversary Show (Part II)’, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
    ‘Drawing Experience’, curated by Avani Rao at Icon Art Gallery, Hyderabad
    ‘Landforms’ group show, curated by Kathleen Wyma at Gallery OED, Kochi
  • 2015
    ‘Reviving the retinal’ group show, curated by Kathleen Wyma, Gallery OED, Kochi
  • 2013
    ‘Art For Young Collectors II’, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
    ‘Hanging Terraces’, Gallery Veda, Chennai
  • 2012
    ‘Prepellers’, Gallery Art & Soul, Chennai. Curated by Dr.Kavitha Balakrishnan
    ‘New Trends from South’, Art Chennai Presented by Apparao Art Gallery, Chennai
    ‘Art For Young Collectors’, Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke, Mumbai
  • 2011
    ‘Voices from Kerala’, Apparao Art Gallery, New Delhi
  • 2010
    ’36 Degree C Group’, Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur
    ‘SESTET’, Chithra Kala Parishath Art Gallery, Bangalore
  • 2009
    Kerala Lalit Kala Academy State Exhibition, Durbar Hall Arts Centre, Kochi
    London Art Fair, Presented by Kings Road Art Gallery, London
  • 2008
    ‘Deep Sleep’, Government College of Fine Arts, Thrissur
    ‘What’s wrong with that?’ Durbar Hall Arts Centre, Kochi
  •  2007
    ‘Back Space’, Dravidia Art Gallery, Kochi

Awards

  • 2024 De Scheffer Prize, prize to encourage emerging artists in painting
  • 2013 Inlaks Fine Arts Award
  • 2010 Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy Scholarship for art students
  • 2009 Kerala Lalitha Kala Academy special mention award

Residencies

  • 2021-2023 Rijksakademie, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • 2014 Residency in ‘What about art’, Inlaks India Foundation, Mumbai