Shezad Dawood United Kingdom, b. 1974


Shezad Dawood (b. 1974, London), is a contemporary artist working in a variety of media including video, painting, neon, sculpture, and virtual reality. His work, which dismantles the stable systems of image, language, place, and narrative, suggests the central keyword “hybrid.” Insisting that “there must be three points of intersection or confrontation in creation,” Shezad Dawood presents works in which always opposed and contradictory elements coexist. He explores meaning and form through edition and expands the boundaries of community through cooperation and the exchange of knowledge with experts from various regions. Dawood’s signature work Leviathan is in fact a project that has embarked on an unprecedented search and exploration, traversing urgent contemporary issues including marine ecosystems, climate change, refugees, mental health, and democracy. The Leviathan project, kicked off at the 2017 Venice Biennale, is composed of diverse media including painting, sculpture, and neon, with a 10-part video series and 3-part virtual reality (VR) series. The project also expands into the shape of discussion and publication through connecting with experts in various fields beyond the boundaries of art.


Shezad Dawood has a unique personal history, born to a Pakistani mother and Indian father and raised in England. Dawood trained at Central St Martin’s and the Royal Col-lege of Art before undertaking a PhD at Leeds Metropolitan University. Currently working as an artist in London he is also a Research Fellow at the Experimental Media Lab at the University of Westminster. Solo exhibitions of the artist include those at the Rubin Museum, New York (2018); Querini Stampalia Foundation, Venice (2017); Pioneer Works, Brooklyn (2015); Fig-2, ICA, London (2015); and Modern Art Oxford, Oxford ( 2012). Selected group exhibitions number those at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo (2016); Taipei Biennale (2014); Marrakech Biennale (2014); Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art, Barcelona (2014); Busan Biennale (2010); Tate Britain, London (2009); and Venice Biennale (2009). His work has been collected by such globally renowned institutions as the Tate, UK; Government Art Collection, UK; The British Museum, London; National Gallery of Canada; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the UBS Art Collection.