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Dalloul Art Foundation

ABED ABDI, Palestine (1942)


Abed Abdi was born in Palestine, in the northern city of Haifa, February 1942. At age 6 he and his mother and siblings were forced to flee when they were uprooted from their home during the...


Abed Abdi was born in Palestine, in the northern city of Haifa, February 1942. At age 6 he and his mother and siblings were forced to flee when they were uprooted from their home during the violent Naqba of 1948 and for three years they moved from one refugee camp to another in several surrounding Arab countries until their return to Israel. Abdi made his connections in the Israeli art scene through the Communist Party in Haifa which also gave him protection. The artist was a major motivator of a “Liberation through art” movement by Palestinian artists who lived in the areas of Palestine that were lost to Israeli Occupation in 1948. The trauma of living the Naqba in their childhood is what lead them to using art as an outlet. Abdi belonged to that generation of young Palestinian artists and this shows through the themes of his paintings and sculptures.          

In 1962, at the age of 20, he was the first Arab to join the Israeli Painter and Sculptors Association. He also held his first exhibition in Tel Aviv.

In 1964 he received a scholarship to study in East Germany with the help of the Communist Party, and a year later he enrolls in the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts where he specialized in mural arts and environmental sculpting. He was taught by professors Gerhard Kettner and Lea Grundig (who was a student of Otto Dix and a communist Jew. She and her husband developed a very personal relationship with Abdi and as his mentors, had much influence on his work.

In 1970, he obtained his Master’s  degree and was selected among other graduates to create a mural in front of the Cultural Palace (Kulturpalast) in Dresden. This mural still stands today as a cultural landmark of unified Germany.

After his studies abroad, Abdi returned to Haifa and started teaching children visual arts in schools and community centers. From 1985 until his retirement in 2007, he taught fine arts and the history of arts in the Arab Pedagogical College in Haifa.

In the beginning of his career Abdi was working mostly on graphic art. As a student, he published a series of graphic works about refugees, Palestinian villages and daily life in occupation which were mainly black and white. These remained a theme throughout his artistic career but later he started using more color. A noticeable detail in his overall works is that he not only depicts Palestinian and Israeli cityscapes but within them makes it a point to emphasize religious institutions of all three Abrahamic religions, sometimes even side to side. This focus shows how motivated he is to use his art to better relations between Christian and Muslim Arabs, and Jews. His most recent works consist of more mixed media, using metals, sometimes with bullet holes or objects that allude to life as a prisoner of war. He also uses textiles, photos, beads, and his last series was a set of drawers with personal memorabilia that everyday Palestinian people might hold on to. Abdi still has a strong connection to the past.


Selected Solo Exhibitions


Memory Drawers, Liwan Cultural Café, Nazareth, Occupied Palestine


Memory Drawers, Cabri Gallery for Contemporary Art, Kabri, Occupied Palestine
Visual thoughts in my creative career, Mahmood Darwish Cultural Center, Nazareth, Occupied Palestine


Homage to Lutfia II, Peace Gallery, Givat Haviva, Occupied Palestine


Secrets, Drawers and Identities: Homage to My Sister Lutfia, Yarmouk Refugee Camp,
Beit Hagefen, Arab-Jewish Cultural Center, Haifa, Occupied Palestine


An Evening with Abed Abdi and his Art, Arabelle’s Art Workshop, Haifa, Occupied Palestine


50 years of Creativity, Um El Fahem Gallery, Um El Fahem, Occupied Palestine


Wama Nassina, retrospective Exhibition of illustrations, in Tel Aviv, Occupied Palestine


Wa Ma Nasina, Hagar Art Gallery, Jaffa, Occupied Palestine
Schallstadt, Germany
Bad Freienwalde, Bandenburg, Germany


Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan


Prints and Illustrations, Hagafen Gallery, Haifa, Occupied Palestine

Selected Group Exhibitions


1948, Haifa City Museum, Occupied Palestine
Belonging, Dubai Digital District, Dubai, UAE
Masters of Palestinian Art, Bartok 1 Gallery, Budapest, Hungary


Third Identity, Contemporary Art Platform, Kuwait
Bad Taste: The Fiftieth Year of the Occupation, Minust Gallery, Tel Aviv, Occupied Palestine


Roots of identity, Art on 56, Beirut, Lebanon


Palestinian Arab Houses: Haifa (1860-1930), Haifa City Museum, Occupied Palestine


In Memory, Zawyeh Gallery, Ramallah, Occupied Palestine
Manifestations of Letter, Umm el Fahem Art Gallery, Umm el Fahem, Occupied Palestine


Une Exposition d’Humanité, Carla Bayle, France
Identity: Exhibition of Four Palestinian Artists in Germany, Plan D Gallery, Dusseldorf, Germany


Men in the Sun, Herzliya Museum of Contemporary Art, Occupied Palestine


The second exhibition for Palestinians and Israelis, Germany


It’s Possible, Touring Exhibition, US; Germany

Awards and Honors


Notable Citizen of Haifa Award, Occupied Palestine


Honorary mention from the "Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation” for the
Dialogue Between Cultures for his activities in fostering Euro Mediterranean dialogue through the arts.
Prize of Art and Design, Occupied Palestine


Several awards from local Rotary clubs in Haifa, Nazareth, Occupied Palestine
Hermann Struck Best Artist of the Year Prize, municipality of the city of Haifa, Occupied Palestine


Hermann Struck Best Artist of the Year Prize, municipality of the city of Haifa, Occupied Palestine


The Young Artist's award at the Berlin International Youth Festival, Germany


Academy of Fine Arts, Dresden, Germany
Ministry of Culture, Sofia, Bulgaria
Archives of Israel Museum, Occupied Palestine
Archives of the art collection of the Presidential Palace, Republic of Hungary
Her Royal Highness Princess Wijdan Ali, Amman, Jordan
Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, Jordan
Ministry of Culture, Palestinian Authority, Palestine
Municipality of Oldenburg, Germany
Municipal Museum of Gyor for Contemporary Arts, Gyor, Hungary
Hajduboszormeny Varosi Museum, Hungary
Collection of Amos Shoken (Haaretz, Tel Aviv, Occupied Palestine
Office of the Chief Archibishop of Hungary, Esztergom, Hungary
Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
Dar el Nimer, Beirut, Lebanon
The British Museum, London, UK

Abed Abdi: Review by Tal Ben Zvi
Tal Ben Zvi
Abed Abdi, English, 2010

Extract from Artist Catalog

Palestinian Visual Arts (III)
Kamal Boullata
Palestinian Journeys, English, 2005

Extract from a highligh by Kamal Boullata’s entry ”Art” in Philip Mattar, ed. The Encyclopedia of the Palestinians (New York: Facts on File, 2005).

We Were As Dreamers
Gershon Knispel
Abed Abdi, English, 2012

Extract from Artist Cataloguern

Israel Studies
Tal Ben Zvi
Project MUSE, English, 2016

Extract from publicationrnIndiana University PressrnVolume 21, Number 1, Spring 2016

Abed Abdi: Review by Tal Ben Zvi
Abed Abdi, English, 2012

Extract from Artist Cataloguern

خواطر في السيرة والمسيرة
Abed Abdi
Abed Abdi, Arabic, 2012
التهجير من حيفا - عبد عابدي
Junell, Arabic
Who I Am, Where I Come From, And Where I Am Going
Aissa H. Deebi
Winchester School of Art, English, 2011


"الفنان الحيفاوي عابدي ل"القدس للأنباء": النكبة شكلت حيزاً هاماً من تطوري الإبداعي"
مريم علي
القدس للأنباء, Arabic, 2018
د اعبدي 50 سنة من الإبداع
نايف خوري, Arabic, 2010
جوارير الذاكرة للفنان الحيفاوي عابدي في الناصرة, Arabic, 2019
مرسم عبد عابدي يزهر قبل ان يأتي الربيع
زاهد عزة حرش
الحوار المتمدن, Arabic, 2005

Artist Website

“وماذا مع أخته لُطفيّة؟”؛ مقابلة مع الفنان عبد عابدي
محمد جبالي, Arabic, 2014
تشكيليون فلسطينيون (14) الفنان عبد عابدي
عبد الله أبو راشد, Arabic, 2010
Abed Abdi and the Liberation Art of Palestine
Samia Halaby
Jadaliyya, English, 2013
كنا كالحالمين
غرشون كنيسبل, Arabic, 2010
خيوط شمس دافئة في أيام شتاء باردة
زاهد عزة حرش, Arabic, 2005
حيفا وانت قوافل العطاء
زاهد عزت حرش, Arabic, 2012
فنّان تشكيلي من بلدي / بقلم د. خالد تركي
د. خالد تركي, Arabic, 2012
شهادات حيّة يرويها فلسطينيون عاشوا النكبة
غادة أسعد, Arabic, 2013
أحمد دحبور مقدمة بقراءة لمسيرة الفن التشكيلي المعاصر
أحمد دحبور, Arabic, 2007
يحترف القلق الوجودي ربيع الفن التشكيلي
فتحي فوراني, Arabic, 2006
A Visit to Abed Abdi's Studio: Muses from the Wadi
Eli Armon Azulay
Haaretz Newspaper, English, 2010
الأقرب إلى الأرض: شعرية المشهد
فراس حسين, Arabic, 2006
البروفيسور أفنر جلعادي: الفنَّان عبد عابدي
أفنر جلعادي, Arabic, 2012
ثنيات وخيام ٬ بورتريهات وأدراج
أيلت زوهر, Arabic, 2013
Men in the Sun, English, 2009
رجال في الشمس
طال بن سفي, Arabic, 2009
In Memory, English, 2014
Dubai Design District Launches Electic Programming for Art Season 2019, English, 2019
Masters of Palestinian Art/Budapest, English, 2019
Abed Abdi, "Wa Ma Nasina"
Tal Ben Zvi, English, 2008
د. خالد تركي :عبد عابدي- خمسون عامًا من الإبداع
د. خالد تركي, Arabic, 2010
Abed Abdi: Retrospective Exhibition
Said Abu Shaqra, English, 2010
Said Abu Shaqra, Arabic, 2010
"فنان فلسطيني يخصص معرضا لأخته اللاجئة في مخيم اليرموك", Arabic, 2013
مضاعفات قضية لاجئة بقيت في سورية - علي بدوان ٬ منقول عن جدعون ليفي
جدعون ليفي, Arabic, 2013
عابدي يجسد معاناة لاجئي سوريا في حيفا, Arabic, 2013
Palestinian Artist Dedicates Exhibition to Sister Living in Syrian Refugee Camp, English, 2013
A Retrospective In Haifa "The Struggle To Save Lutfia" by Abed Abdi, English, 2013
Memory Drawers @ Cabri - Abed Abdi, English, 2018
Déracinés des ailes, de Haïfa à Ramallah…
Mi. T., French, 2016


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