Nadia Waheed Saudi Arabia, b. 1992


The multiplicity to Nadia Waheed’s art reflects the various locations of her upbringing, from her birth in Saudi Arabia to Pakistani parents to her experience living in France, Egypt, Pakistan, and finally the United States.


Nadia Waheed’s work is both allegorical and autobiographical at once. Her large-scale figurative paintings seamlessly reference both her own lived experience as well as broader themes of womanhood, cultural trauma, and the desire for selfhood unfettered by conventions, expectations, and obligations. The female subjects, often self-portraits, in her work clearly bear the weight of the, oftentimes contradictory, cultural pressures that fall on women.  They also demonstrate a quiet interiority or interrelationships with other women that gesture towards the space for a liberated self unbeholden to social norms and compulsions. Her experience of the upheavals of the pandemic resulted in her work turning even more determinedly to questions of interiority, spirituality, and the search for harmony amidst the clamour of neoliberal modernity. From explorations of nothingness that is the Buddhist nirvānā to the pursuit of balance between the material and spiritual concerns, her art represents women yearning for and discovering clarity and peace. Detachment is a recurring theme in Waheed’s work, symbolised by female figures that float, drift, and are unmoored from their surroundings. Yet, these figures are never fully free of worldly concerns - while Waheed obscures normative markers of racial and cultural identity, such as skin tone, the dupattas (the shawl women wear over their head and shoulders), mehndi, and braided hair announce their South Asian identity. It is this dance between the individual and the social her art captures with expressive grace.


Solo exhibitions include: A Strange Icarus, Nicodim, Los Angeles, CA, USA (2023); Heavy Bend, Gallery 1957, London, UK (2022); Am I Human Yet?, Arsenal Contemporary Art, New York, USA (2021); I Climb, I Backtrack, I Float, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, FL, USA (2020); For the Few and the Many, BEERS London, London, UK (2019); See Me Where I Am, The Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, TX, USA (2019); Notes From A Windowless Room, Raw Paw Gallery, Austin, TX, USA (2019) and Eight Chicks in a Pod, Bolm Studios, Austin, TX, USA (2018).


Recent group shows include: Disembodied, Nicodim Gallery, New York, USA (2023);  Madeleine Bialke, M. Florine Démosthène, Sahara Longe, Nadia Waheed, Alexander Berggruen, New York, New York, USA (2022); Goddesses, Wonder Women II, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2022); YOU ME ME YOU, Nicodim, Los Angeles, USA (2022); Pop up @ Frieze Korea, Harper’s Gallery, Seoul, Korea (2022); The Storytellers, Gallery 1957, London, UK (2022); Wonder Women, Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, New York, USA (2022); I is the Other, Lyles and King, New York, USA (2022); Note From the Motherland, Aicon Gallery, New York, USA (2021); Sweet Jane in Fields of Daisies, Phillips, New York, USA (2021); The Scenic Route, 1969 Gallery, New York, USA (2021); She Came to Stay, Andrea Festa Fine Art, Rome, Italy (2021); This Sacred Vessel Online, Arsenal Contemporary, New York, USA (2020); Sacred Vessel (pt.2), Arsenal Contemporary, New York, USA (2020); Crossroads, Patel Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2020); Moleskine Show @ POW!WOW!, Spoke Art, Honolulu, Hawaii (2020); Lady Parts, Mindy Solomon Gallery, Miami, USA (2020); Lately, Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, USA (2020); While Supplies Last, Bellevue Arts Museum, Seattle, USA (2019); Night & Day, Thierry Goldberg, New York, USA (2019); I Paint, Patel Gallery, Toronto, Canada (2019); Selfie Gauntlet, The Museum of Human Achievement, Austin, USA (2018); Hear Me Out, ARC Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2017); Closing Party, The Space, Sydney, Australia (2017); Cubicle the Musical, S. Dearborn Gallery Space, Chicago, USA (2015); Advanced Pain, Crybaby Gallery, Chicago, USA (2015); Spring Show, Sullivan Galleries, Chicago, USA (2015).
Art Fairs
The First Three Months (Mountains), 2020