Artist’s Rooms : Taysir Batniji

To My Brother

Taysir Batniji explores loss and memory in To My Brother (2012), a series of inkless ‘drawings’ etched onto paper. Based on family photos of his brother’s wedding, the work commemorates his brother’s death, which took place two years after his wedding, resulting from sniper fire during the first intifada in Palestine in 1987. To My Brother was originally awarded as a commission through the Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2012, and recently acquired for the Art Jameel Collection.

Drawn largely from the Art Jameel Collection, Artist’s Rooms is a series of solo exhibitions by influential, innovative artists, with particular focus on practitioners from the Middle East, Asia and Africa. These capsule shows are collaborative and curated in dialogue with the artist. Summer 2020 features rooms by Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Taysir Batniji and Larissa Sansour in galleries 1, 2 and 3.

Taysir Batniji’s (born 1966, Gaza) work, often tinged with impermanence and fragility, draws inspiration from his subjective story, as well as current events and history. His methods of approach always distance, divert, stretch, conceptualise or simply play with the initial subject, offering, at the end, a poetic, sometimes acrid point of view on reality.

Taysir Batniji studied art at Al-Najah University in Nablus, Palestine. In 1994, he was awarded a fellowship to study at the School of Fine Arts of Bourges in France. Since then, he has been dividing his time between France and Palestine. During this period, between two countries and two cultures, Batniji has developed a multi-media practice, including drawing, installation, photography, video and performance.

Taysir was awarded the Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2012 and became the recipient of the Immersion residency program, supported by Hermes Foundation, in alliance with Aperture Foundation (2017). His works are part of collections at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; FNAC, France; V&A and The Imperial War Museum, London; The Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; and Zayed National Museum, Abu Dhabi.