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Dahlia Elsayed is an artist and writer who makes text- and image-based work that synthesizes an internal and external experience of place, connecting the ephemeral to the concrete. Her work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions throughout the United States and internationally, including the 12th Cairo Biennale, Robert Miller Gallery, BravinLee Programs, The Arab American National Museum, The New Jersey State Museum and Aljira Center for Contemporary Art. Her work is in the public collections of the Newark Museum, The Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, The US Department of State, among others. Dahlia has received awards from The Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Edward Albee Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, The MacDowell Colony, Women’s Studio Workshop, Headlands Center for the Arts, and The NJ State Council on the Arts. Public corporate commissions include Hermès, Meta, United Airlines, and the Penn station project for Art at Amtrak. Elsayed received her MFA from Columbia University, and lives and works in New Jersey. She is Professor of Humanities at CUNY LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY.


Artist Statement:

I use painting, installation and sculpture to make fictional landscapes that refer to east/west marginality in pictorial spaces that are simultaneously flat and real. My work is based on pairing diasporan narrative with a terra firma, connecting internal and external sense of place and creating myth pictures for placelessness. These allegorical landscapes use a symbolic vocabulary rooted in cartography, comics and cosmology to make visual narratives that tell unreliable oral histories and anticipate alternate futures. My interest in these themes stems from my own experience of displacement over multiple generations of my family. These involuntary movements from continent to continent, with little belongings but much in story, have formed the way I think about place and lore. I make work to connect the material and concrete to the ephemeral shapes of a personal geography.

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