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Dalloul Art Foundation

AHMAD CANAAN, Palestine (1965)


Born in 1965, in Tamra, the Lower Galilee, Palestine, Ahmad Canaan is a Palestinian painter and sculptor. He has lived in Tamra, now part of the Israeli state, since he completed his art studies at...

Born in 1965, in Tamra, the Lower Galilee, Palestine, Ahmad Canaan is a Palestinian painter and sculptor. He has lived in Tamra, now part of the Israeli state, since he completed his art studies at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem from which he graduated with a BFA in 1989. In 2009, Canaan received a Diploma in Museum Studies from Tel Aviv University.

Canaan is the curator of Jaffa Salon of Palestinian Art and the founder of the municipal gallery in Tamra.

Canaan is a prolific artist who can alternate from one medium to another with ease. His flexibility and pragmatic approach to the problems of working and living in the state of Israel allowed him to develop as an artist and to advocate the concept of 'being Palestinian.' Palestine perceived as an idea, and a place in motion is what informs the imagery and form of the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish, which is part of Canaan's main inspiration.

In his paintings, Canaan addresses themes that go back in history to the twelfth century when Saladin paved the way for the re-conquest of Jerusalem. Canaan's sculpture of Saladin in Tamra indeed looks like the archetypal knight in shining armor and fits. However, a closer look reveals that it is constructed from a multitude of smaller knights. Pattern and repetition were typical in Canaan's work. He would create paintings with repetitive images of a knight riding on a horse - a central motif in his work.

Canaan revisited themes addressed by modernist artists such as Ismail Shammout and Suleiman Mansour. In expressive and nearly realistic paintings, he depicted peasants and pastoral images full of orchards and green olive groves, which became a symbol of endurance throughout the mid-nineties. The artist created sculptures made of the iconic key, a symbol of ownership of Palestinian houses. Also, Canaan painted the refugee man with his traditional Kufiyah and Eiqal while he sadly departs from his homeland.  Some of Canaan's monumental sculptures are made of metal, while other smaller ones are made of wood. They occupy public spaces and school playgrounds. The artist was keen to have children interact with his symbolic sculptures that narrate the history of Palestine.

Canaan received the American-Israel Cultural Foundation Prize in 1989. In 2003, and 2010 he received the artist in the Community Grant from the Israeli Ministry of Culture. He participated in group exhibitions and international symposiums in the Middle East, Europe, Japan, Russia, and the USA. Canaan lives and works in Tamra.


Selected Solo Exhibitions


Screens and Social Circles, Keymedia Cultural and Art Center, Haifa, Palestine


Trapped Humanity, Umm Al-Fahm Art Gallery, Palestine


It will be good, Tivon Art Center, Haifa, Palestine


Beyond the Ornament, Wilfrid Museum for Asian Art and Studies, Palestine


Ahmad Canaan: Sculptures, Omer Industrial Park, Palestine
New Paintings, White House Gallery, Kibbutz Nir Oz, Palestine


On a Thin Wire, Tal Greenfield Gallery, Kfar Vradim, Palestine
Knight of Dreams, Al-Hakawati Palestinian National Theater, Jerusalem, Palestine


Quest, M. Beck Gallery, Homburg, Germany


The Knight, Al-Hallaj Art Gallery, Ramallah, Palestine


Self Portrait, The Gallery, The Ort Braude Academic College, Karamiel, Palestine


Here I Am, The Peace Gallery, Jewish-Arab Center for Peace, Givat Haviva, Palestine
1992 Wooden Platforms, The Municipal Gallery, Nazareth, Palestine


Ploughs, Al-Hakawati Palestinian National Theater, Jerusalem, Palestine

Selected Group Exhibitions


The Spring Collective Exhibition, Zawyeh Gallery, Al-Balo’, Ramallah, Palestine


Neighbors, The Gallery, The Ort Braude College, Karmiel, Palestine


The Autumn Exhibition, SPURS Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon
Metamorphoses in the war times, UNESCO Palace, Beirut, Lebanon
Colors of life, Zawyeh Gallery, Ramallah, Palestine
Yolboyo Art Gallery, Antalya, Turkey
Seven Woman House Keys, Gallery 14, Amman, Jordan


Traces, Zawyeh Art Gallery, Ramallah, Palestine


Kayan, Sculptures Exhibition, Palestenian Art Court, Jerusalem, Palestine
In Family Unity, Unity of the world, Yekaterinburg, Russia
In Family Unity, Unity of the world, Moscow, Russia
Drawings by Sculptors, Museum Schloss Fellenberg, Merzig, Germany


Something must happen, Gazza Culture Center, Gaza, Palestine
Palestinian Art Exhibition, in collaboration with Al-Mahatta Gallery in Ramallah, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman
X7, Cairo Bank Gallery, Amman, Jordan
Man, Land, Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Palestine


The Country and Its People, The Mormon University, Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
Correspondence,The Museum for Islamic Art, Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
Secret Art, Mani House Museum, Bank Leumi, Occupied Palestine
It’s Going to Be Olympic, Gebo Art Space, Occupied Palestine
Colors under Siege, Rashad Al-Shawa Center, Gaza, Palestine


Black/White, Beit Hagefen, Haifa, Occupied Palestine
Birds, Haim Sturman Museum, Eid Harod, Occupied Palestine
Palestinian Art, Nissan Art Gallery, Doha, Qatar


The International Biennale of Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt

Awards and Honors

The Lifetime Achievement in Art AwardThe Ministry of Culture, Palestine


Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation, Beirut, Lebanon
The Museum of Photography, Tel Hai, Occupied Palestine
Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem, Occupied Palestine
The Open Museum, Omer, Occupied Palestine
The National Museum, Amman, Jordan
Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates



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