Hayv Kahraman’s practice pulls on her personal experiences of migration to Europe (and then the United States) to create paintings, drawings, objects and performances. Her work engages the viewer, utilizing elements of calligraphy, Italian Renaissance painting and illuminated Arab manuscripts to reflect on the placelessness and experience of diaspora, engaging aesthetic notions and codes of beauty to depict often psychologically brutal subjects. By developing a vocabulary of narrative and exploration the artist tries to contest and renegotiate boundaries found in the social and political third space between Western and Middle Eastern culture.
Recent solo exhibitions include Hayv Kahraman, The Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha, USA (2016); Audible Inaudible, The Third Line, Dubai (2016); How Iraqi are You?, Jack Shainman, New York, USA (2015); Extimacy, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2013); Pins and Needles, The Third Line, Dubai (2010); Waraq, Frey Norris, San Francisco, USA (2010); Seven Gates, Green Cardamom, London (2010).
Recent group exhibitions include 100 Masterpieces of Modern and Contemporary Arab Art, The Barjeel Collection, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris, France (2017); Mashrabiya: The Art of Looking Back, San Francisco State University Fine Arts Gallery, USA (2017); Thessaloniki Biennial 5, Thessaloniki, Greece (2015), Neighbors: Contemporary Narratives from Turkey and Beyond, The Istanbul Museum of Modern Art, Istanbul (2014); CONTEMPORARY: Architecture, Culture and Identity, Louisiana Museum of Modern, Humlebaek, Denmark (2013); Jameel Prize Tour, San Antonio Museum of Art, USA (2013) and The Victoria & Albert Museum, London (2011); Le Corps Decouvert, Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris (2012); Jameel Prize Tour, Museum of Fine Art, Houston, USA (2012);Disquieting Muses, Contemporary Art Center of Thessaloniki, State Museum of Contemporary Art, Greece (2011); Of Women’s Modesty and Anger, Villa Empain Center for the Arts, Brussels (2011); Taswir, Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin Germany (2010); Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, London (2009).
Her work is featured in various international collections including the San Diego Museum of Art, CA, USA; Birmingham Museum of Art, AL, USA; The Rubell Family Collection, Miami, USA; The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK; The Barjeel Art Foundation Sharjah, UAE; MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art Doha, Qatar; Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, Ohio, USA; North Carolina; Museum of Art, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
Hayv lives and works in Los Angeles, CA.