Born in Jerusalem, Kamal Boullata was an artist, writer and art historian who received his MFA from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC where he lived for nearly 25 years.
Practicing primarily in silkscreen, Boullata’s early work used Kufic script, an early form of Arabic calligraphy, to create colourful, geometric compositions on paper.
Boullata’s work explores themes of identity and exile, evoking his childhood in Jerusalem and his subsequent displacement following its 1967 occupation. Boullata’s designs draw from the rich decoration of the Dome of the Rock as well as the distinctive embroidery of his native Palestine. In the 1970s and 80s, he was part of the hurufiyya movement, where Arab artists experimentally brought together Arabic calligraphy and Modernism
Boullata’s paintings, silkscreens, and artist books have been exhibited widely in Europe, the US, France, and the Middle East. His work can be found in many private and public collections including the British Museum, London; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris; New York Public Library, New York; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Khalid Shoman Foundation, Amman; Alhambra Islamic Museum, Granada; Sharjah Art Museum, Sharjah; Bibliothèque Louis Notari, Monaco and Mathaf and the Museum of Modern Arab Art, Doha.Boullata studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome before getting his MFA at the Corcoran School of Art.