Tarek Al-Ghoussein (born 1962) is a Kuwaiti visual artist of Palestinian origin, best known for his work that investigates the margins between landscape photography, self-portraiture and performance art. He moves between abstraction and the explicit conditions found in certain places.[1]


Tarek Al-Ghoussein was born in Kuwait, his grandparents were Palestinian exiles who were unable to visit their native home. His father, Talat Al-Ghoussein, was a journalist, editor and a diplomat who served as the Kuwait ambassador to the United States in the 1960s.[2] His family moved a lot during his childhood between Kuwait, United States, Morocco and Japan. He received his bachelor's degree in photography from New York University and completed his master's degree in Fine Arts from University of New Mexico. He held several positions during his career, worked as a photojournalist, taught photography at the American University of Sharjah and is currently a professor at New York University branch in Abu Dhabi.[3]

Selected exhibitions

  • 1995 Zwemmers Fine Photographs, London, UK
  • 2000 Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah, UAE
  • 2003 Randolph Street Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand
  • 2004 Spectra Art Gallery, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2004 Noorderlicht International Photography Exhibition, The Netherlands
  • 2005 Sharjah International Biennial, Sharjah, UAE
  • 2006 Political Realities, Heidelberg Museum, Heidelberg, Germany
  • 2007 Art in Public Spaces, Light Boxes, Muscat, Oman
  • 2008 Wonder, Singapore Biennale, Singapore
  • 2009 In Absentia, Al Ma'mal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem
  • 2011 Emirati Expressions, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE
  • 2013 National Pavilion of Kuwait, 55th Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
  • 2014 K Files, Taymour Grahne Gallery, New York, USA


Tarek's work is collected by several museums and foundations worldwide such as Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Royal Museum of Photography, Copenhagen; Darat Al-Funun, Amman, Jordan; Mathaf Museum, Doha, Qatar; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE; British Museum, London, UK; Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX and Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah, UAE.


  • Tarek Al-Ghoussein: Transfigurations[4]
  • In Absentia: Photographs by Tarek Al-Ghoussein[5]

See also

List of Kuwaiti artists

List of Palestinian artists


  1. ^ "Art, diplomatically deployed".
  2. ^ Seaman, Anna. "Tarek Al Ghoussein to represent Kuwait at the 55th Venice Biennale".
  3. ^ Mikdadi, Salwa (September 7, 2009). New Vision: Arab Contemporary Art in the 21st Century. Thames & Hudson Ltd. ISBN 978-0500976982.
  4. ^ Al-Ghoussein, Tarek (2014). Transfigurations: Tarek Al-Ghoussein. Black Dog Publishing. ISBN 978-1908966612.
  5. ^ Ghoussein, Tarek Al- (2009). In Absentia: Photographs by Tarek Al-. Third Line. ISBN 9780143120186.