Ali Hassan

One of Qatar’s most celebrated artists, Ali Hassan considers his artistic practice to be an expression of his spirituality. Hassan works in a range of styles and media to create semi-abstract compositions, characterised by a use of bright bold colours and a combination of calligraphic and figural forms.

Fascinated by the Arabic letter nūn for over twenty years, the artist has produced a rich body of mixed media compositions along with work in watercolour, pencil, pastel, and ceramic that celebrate this singular letter. In each piece, Hassan extends, stretches, and transforms the nūn across the surface so that the form of the letter assumes an array of dynamic, multivalent qualities and meaning.

In the last several years, Hassan has continued his explorations into the formal and spiritual qualities of letters and texts through the medium of installation art.

Trained as a calligrapher, Hassan is a self-taught artist who graduated with a degree in history from Qatar University in 1982. He served as the former chairman of the Youth Creative Art Centre and Girl’s Creativity Art Centre, both in Doha. In 2009, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Qatar honoured him with a retrospective. Ali Hassan lives and works in Doha.