Abul Hisham

Abul Hisham’s body of work intends to explore the notions of Desire, Death and Memory. These three themes have their own profundity and contain several layers. Abul is interested in how these intertwine with the social and cultural space that he’s living in and he’s concerned about the role of the artist as an observer in these spaces.

His motivations always evolve from the socio-political cultural space and personal narratives. He often uses his own mythology as a tool to visualise these motives, using cinema & pop culture, art history, mythology & religion as his reference points. Abul enjoys the process of letting the viewer decipher many metaphors & symbols for themselves – be they mythological, religious, political, media driven or personal.

Abul’s interest in the existential finds expression in the medium of dry pastel, which he has been using over the last decade. The experience of working with the powdered pigment is like sculpting from dust, and recalls the Christian and Islamic belief that humans were created from dust to which they return after death. Some of the pastel pigments that Hisham uses are made from mined minerals, themselves part of the cycle of creation and transformation over millennia. Along with his investigations in the two dimensional space, he also explores sculptural installations, addressing the notions of memory and the idea of Self.

• Recent exhibitions at Galerie Bart: Connection 2022


Abul Hisham, born 1987 (Thrissur India), lives and works in Amsterdam. In 2010, Abul graduated from the Art Academy in Thrissur and obtained a master’s degree in art in Hyderabad in 2012. Abul has been exhibiting since 2007 and is currently doing a Rijksakademie Residency in Amsterdam. Hisham’s first verified exhibition was Art For Young Collectors at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke in Mumbai in 2012, and one of the most recent exhibition was a group show at Rijksakademie project space curated by Antonio Vega & Isabella Cornaro, Amsterdam 2021. Abul Hisham was exclusively exhibiting in India but is currently more internationally foccussed. Hisham has at least four solo shows and 6 group shows over the last 9 years.

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2022 •
10.06 If then is now Abul Hisham: “My paintings are sequences” by Walter van Teeffelen.
16.06 Marbella Marbella Architectural Digest World Fine Art Professionals and their Key-Pieces, 368 – Abul Hisham by.

2019 •
22.04 Architectural Digest Mumbai: Abul Hisham’s second solo, ‘Recitation,’ at Galerie Mirchandani + Steinruecke by Shaikh Ayaz.
17.03 The Indian Express Teller of Tales: The shadows and mysteries of the human mind shape the narratives in Abul Hisham’s paintings by Pooja Pillai.

Abul Hisham