Born in Khartoum, Sudan, in 1936 and lives and works in New York City since 1967. Khalil is one of the Arab world’s most important contemporary painters, having influenced two generations of regional artists. His work, spanning over forty years, across painting and print-making, is in a privileged position between the canon of modern Arab art and the artist’s ground-breaking practice, searching for a dialogue between dissimilar cultures. Profoundly influenced by his travels throughout the Middle East – in particular Morocco and Sudan – and the art history of Europe that he became immersed in during his studies in Italy, Khalil has brought to life a pioneering form of art, in which elements and patterns from tradition merge with pop art and fine prints.
Mohammed Omar Khalil studied at the School of Fine and Applied Art in Khartoum, Sudan and then pursued graduated studies in fresco painting and print-making in Florence. Since then, he has been living in the United States and until recently, taught at the Parsons School of Design in the New School. His work has been part of numerous solo and group exhibitions in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and the Americas. The artist’s work is found in different public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, Grenoble Museum in France, the Jordanian National Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art.