Dr. Omar Kholeif

  • Omar Kholeif, photo by Eric T. White

Dr Omar Kholeif, FRSA (Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts), is a writer, curator, editor and Director of Collections and Senior Curator at the Sharjah Art Foundation. Recent curatorial projects include the 14th Sharjah Biennial; ‘Time, Forward!’ — the V-A-C Foundation's presentation at the 58th Venice Biennale; ‘Focus:Beyond Territory’ and ‘Focus:Icons’ at Abu Dhabi Art; and filmmaker David Lynch's first retrospective of his visual art (with Professor Sarah Perks) for the Manchester International Festival. Dr Kholeif is currently working on two major monographs.

Previously, he was Manilow Senior Curator and Director of Global Initiatives at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. His past positions include Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Senior Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester; and Curator at FACT, Liverpool. Dr Kholeif has organised more than 100 exhibitions, projects and commissions, from the Venice Biennale to the Liverpool Biennial and Sharjah Biennial. He has written extensively on art in a global context, focusing on art that intersects with the internet, as well as works of art from emerging geographic territories yet to appear in the mainstream.

Dr Kholeif is the author and editor of more than two dozen books. His writing has also been published in The Guardian, Wired, frieze, and Artforum, among numerous publications. He has taught at Hunter College, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University and the University of Oxford. He has served on numerous juries, including the Film London Jarman Award and the Thoma Foundation Arts Writing Award in Digital Art, and has received awards from organisations such as the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts and the Creative Capital / Andy Warhol Foundation.

Dr. Omar Kholeif is the curator of Abu Dhabi Art sector Focus