A major solo exhibition of the Iraqi photographer Latif Al Ani, ‘Latif Al Ani Through the Lens: 1953 – 1979’ opens on 16 March at the Sharjah Art Foundation. The text for the exhibition guide is written by Tamara Chalabi, who was responsible for bringing Al Ani’s work back to light after years of neglect.

Portrait of Al Ani in the North of Iraq (undated). © Latif Al Ani Collection; courtesy Arab Image Foundation

Considered the founding father of Iraqi photography, Ali Ani was prolific in documenting everyday life in the country, from the 1950s to the 1970s. His photographs provide a unique record of mid-20th century Iraqi experience. By the 1980s his work had fallen into obscurity and it is only recently that the artist has been rediscovered by an international audience. The Ruya Foundation is thrilled that Al Ani is finally receiving the attention that his impressive oeuvre deserves.

Global exposure to Al Ani’s work was revived in 2015, when his photographs appeared as part of the Iraq Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, commissioned by the Ruya Foundation. There his work received international acclaim and, subsequently, Al Ani was made a Prince Claus Laureate. In 2017, Ruya co-authored the monograph ‘Latif Al Ani’ which won the Historical Book Award at Les Rencontres d’Arles 2017, and presented the artist’s first UK exhibition at the Coninsgby Gallery, London.

The exhibition runs from 16 March – 16 June 2018 at the Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah. For more information, please visit the Sharjah Art Foundation website.