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Christie’s presents a thoughtful exhibition by Saudi artist Ahmed Mater

Featured will be the artist’s masterpieces, each intricately shaped and punctuated by events of social reform and pivotal experiences of his life.

X Ray III and Magnetism in the years 2003 and 2009 were true masterpieces by Saudi artist and physician Ahmed Mater. His deep-seated fascination with delving into the history and Islamic culture is also expressed in his numerous other works. Illumination, Desert of Pharan, Abraaj Al Beit Tower (2012), and Gas Station Leadlight (2013) have been the highlights of his works.

Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater

For the first time, auction house Christie’s is hosting a mid-career retrospective of the artist, titled Ahmed Mater: Chronicles. Set to be presented at Christie’s headquarters in the heart of St. James’s, London, from July 17 to August 22, the exhibition is curated by Dr. Ridha Moumni, Chairman of Christie’s Middle East and Africa. Following the most extensive exhibition of Arab art ever held in London at Christie’s in 2023, this is the next significant showcase.

Mr. Mater shared, “It is a great honour to present my artistic journey at Christie’s historic headquarters in London this summer. It is especially poignant for me to exhibit in London almost 20 years after the first presentation of my work outside Saudi Arabia at the British Museum, in 2005. I am thrilled with the opportunity to reconnect with the city and its dynamic art community through this immersive and comprehensive exhibition of my practice. I have been witnessing Christie’s dedication over the years to promote art from the region and it is a distinction to be aligned in this respect, and build an educational and cross cultural dialogue.”

Organized thematically, the exhibition will traverse Mr. Mater’s expansive career, from his initial artistic ventures to his latest endeavors. As a celebrated multimedia artist, spanning photography, videos, paintings, sculptures, and installations, the exhibition will vividly portray Mr. Mater’s distinctive visual interpretations of the evolving social and spiritual landscapes of Saudi Arabia and the Arab World.

Saudi Arabian artist Ahmed Mater artwork

He is considered the most influential Arab contemporary artist of this century. A former physician, Mr. Mater’s journey from medicine to art infuses his works with profound depth and insight. In his earlier creations, one can find the echoes of his medical training, manifested in themes of healing, human connection, and the intricate interplay between body and spirit.

Dr. Moumni of Christie’s Middle East & Africa said, “It is an extraordinary privilege to present an odyssey into Ahmed Mater’s visionary practice, the first mid-career retrospective dedicated to one of the leading cultural voices of the Middle East. Mater’s captivating journey invites us to rethink urban and natural environments, unearth hidden histories, envision potential futures and ponder profound beliefs. His artistic responses to the swift transformations within Saudi Arabia’s complex social and cultural context invite us to discover fascinating narratives of an evolving land and reflect on its multifaceted identity.”