Samia Halaby

Palestinian artist, scholar and art historian Samia Halaby has contributed immensely to building the genre of abstraction in Arab art. Born in Jerusalem in 1936, Halaby uses both acrylic and oil paints for her works, which are often large in size and influenced by nature, many featuring trees of Palestine.

Halaby, who lives in New York, was raised in Yafa until her family immigrated to Lebanon after the occupation of Palestine in 1948. In 1951 she moved to the United States. She has taught art extensively at U.S. universities, including the Yale School of Art. Through her art, writing and curating, Halaby has actively advocated for the rights of Palestinians and raised awareness about their struggle.

Palestine as subject matter enters into her abstract works, some of which are inspired by the textures of Palestine and titled to refer to the landscape of Palestine. Halaby has held many solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad, and her paintings are held in several museum collections, including the Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, The British Museum, the Guggenheim Museum, The Art Institute of Chicago, and The Detroit Institute of Art.