Ahmed Shibrain

  • Born 1931 in Berber, Sudan

Ahmed Shibrain is a Sudanese painter and educator. Shibrain studied in the Department of Arts and Craft at the Khartoum Technical Institute (KTI). At the time Shibrain attended KTI, the institution was the hub of contemporary African art of the region. He also studied abroad at the Central School of Art and Design in London. Shibrain co-founded the influential Khartoum School with Kamala Ishag (b. 1939) and Ibrahim El-Salahi (b. 1930) in 1960. The group disbanded in 1975. The Khartoum artists depicted primitive and Islamic imagery using abstracted Arabic calligraphy. Shibrain wanted to define the contemporary Sudanese identity—a blend of Arabic, African, and Islamic cultures—after the country gained independence in 1956. He became dean of the renamed department—the College of Fine and Applied Arts—in 1975. Under Shibrain’s direction, it continues to be a crucial institution for the contemporary art of sub-Saharan Africa. Shibrain was an officer for the Sudanese Ministry of Youth and culture secretary for the Ministry of Culture. His work was included in the 1967 Bienal de São Paulo and in Contemporary African Art at the Museum of African Art in Washington, D.C., in 1974.

Artworks by Ahmed Shibrain in the exhibition