Dahlia Elsayed is an artist and writer based in New Jersey who makes paintings and installations that transport a viewer into fictional landscapes, using text and image to evoke both material and psychological states. Using both writing and painting, her visual projects are based on pairing diasporan narratives with a terra firma to create fixed pictures of placelessness.
Her painted paper collages are made from cut pieces of her own paintings, arranged to re-construct disoriented landscapes. These allegorical landscapes use a symbolic vocabulary rooted in cartography, comics, and cosmology to make visual narratives that tell unreliable oral histories and anticipate alternate futures. Elsayed’s collage practice is loose and intuitive, evolving from a pile of cut up paintings that grows and diminishes over time.
Dahlia Elsayed’s work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions throughout the United States and internationally, including the 12th Cairo Biennale, Robert Miller Gallery, and The New Jersey State Museum. Her work has received numerous awards and is in the public collections of the Newark Museum, the Zimmerli Museum, Johnson & Johnson Corporation, the US Department of State, amongst others. She received her MFA from Columbia University, and is Professor of Humanities at CUNY LaGuardia Community College in Long Island City, NY.