LALLA ESSAYDI (MOROCCAN, b. 1956)
Lalla Essaydi was born in 1956 in Morocco. Her art, which often combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body, addresses the complex reality of Arab female identity from the unique perspective of personal experience. In much of her work, she returns to her Moroccan girlhood, looking back on it as an adult woman caught somewhere between past and present, and as an artist, exploring the language in which to “speak” from this uncertain space. Her paintings often appropriate Orientalist imagery from the Western painting tradition, thereby inviting viewers to reconsider the Orientalist mythology. She has worked in numerous media, including painting, video, film installation, and analog photography. She received her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts/TUFTS University in May 2003 and currently resides in New York City.
Her work is housed in many major collections throughout the world including the Williams College Museum of Art; The Art Institute of Chicago; the Fries Museum, the Netherlands; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston; The Kodak Museum of Art; The Columbus Museum of Art, Ohio; The Kresge Art Museum, Michigan; The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; The Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California; The Colorado Museum of Art, Colorado; The Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis; The New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut; The Ackland Art Museum, Chapel Hill, North Carolina; The Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH; and Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Virginia.