Artist Nja Mahdaoui’s Solo Exhibition JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs
   Reading 1 min

Elmarsa Gallery at Alserkal Avenue presents Tunisian artist Nja Mahdaoui’s solo exhibition “JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs”, unveiling the artist’s most recent paintings produced between 2019 and 2021. Inspired by Arabic calligraphy, Nja Mahdaoui’s new collection is held until May 7th, 2022.

Nja Mahdaoui is a visual artist considering himself “an explorer of signs”. He has been characterised as a “choreographer of letters”. The artist’s work is remarkably innovative as the aesthetic dimension of letters brings forth a strong sense of the poetic. His artworks captivate us with their astounding ryhthm and rich abstract composition, devoid of any textual meaning. His artistic approach is based on abstract signs and compositions which he refers to as Calligrams or Graphemes.

This exhibition marks 15 years of collaboration between Nja Mahdaoui and Elmarsa Gallery, both in Tunis and Dubai, presenting his third solo show after Trance in Dubai (2016) and Awj, a retrospective exhibition of his works from 1966 to 2018, in Tunis (2018).

Nja Mahdaoui. Sarkha 1. Fragment. 2019, Mixed media on linen canvas. 150 x 150 cm.

Nja Mahdaoui ­received a number of distinctions and international awards, including the Global Art Awards in 2017, the Grand Prize of Arts and Letters from the Tunisian Ministry of Culture in 2006 and the UNESCO Crafts Prize for the Arab States in 2005. His artworks have been presented at various exhibitions and in publications around the world.

Nja Mahdaoui designed monumental artworks such as windows murals for Facebook Headquarters in Menlo Park, California, window facades for the ALECSO headquarters in Tunis, the KAUST University Campus Mosque in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Air aircrafts (50th Anniversary, 2000) as well as large scale sculptures and tapestries for the airports in Jeddah and Riyadh, and the Aramco head office in Dharan, Saudi Arabia.

Exhibition  JAFR. The Alchemy of Signs
Starts 8 March 2022
Ends 7 May 2022
Venue Elmarsa Gallery Warehouse 23

For more information, please visit