Rashid Al Khalifa

b. 1952, Riffa, Bahrain, lives and works in Bahrain

Rashid Al Khalifa was born in 1952 in Bahrain. He received his bachelor's degree at Hastings College of Arts and Technology in Sussex in 1972. During his studies, he was inspired by the English romantic painter J.M.W. Turner, and it was upon his return to Bahrain in 1978 that he began his renditions of his country’s landscapes, producing a series of works of the desert, sea, and historical sites. 

In the following decades, Al Khalifa saw his work evolve from landscape painting to figurative work to gestural abstractions on convex canvases. This shifted in the late 2000s, with his employment of the smooth façade that Aluminium offered, leading to minimalism. Al Khalifa began to consider and equate the susceptibility, mechanics, and geometric processes involved in certain aspects of the design and architecture that he visualized in Bahrain’s ever-changing landscape, and his resulting works are inherent of a dichotomy; they are powerful and dominating, but concurrently effortless, delicate and meditative. There is an undercurrent that flows through Al Khalifa’s oeuvre, driven by his desire to develop and evolve. In many respects, the stylistic transitions that define certain periods reflect the changing landscape of his country and the passages of his life.

Recognized as the foremost patron of the arts in the Kingdom of Bahrain, Al Khalifa was named honorary President of the Bahrain Arts Society when it was established in 1983. He currently holds the position of Chairman of the National Council for Arts, Bahrain. An avid art collector, he founded the RAK Art Foundation in his name in 2020, which presents his collection of Modern and Contemporary Art.