Creating works on paper, paintings, glass works, videos and installations, Ali Kaaf explores the infinite ways of seeing matter and void. Positive and negative shapes; the contrasts between black and white; and the transformative quality of consuming and eroding forms all give his work a variety of emotive qualities that can be sober or even painful.
Born in Oran, Algeria, Ali Kaaf graduated from the Institut des Beaux-Arts in Beirut and continued his studies at Universität der Künste in Berlin under the supervision of professors Marwan Kassab Bachi and Rebecca Horn.
Interested in the materiality of the work itself, Kaaf creates media with blacked out sections, holes, burns and cuts. The various series take on an evolving yet repetitious theme of presence and absence, which he explains, is necessary “visually and in relation to the emptiness. Repetition of the form takes me to something new.” Influenced by Sufism, his consistent pattern has a spiritual quality, an introspection that transmits the ideas of scars, loss and grief.
Kaaf has exhibited at venues such as the Contemporary Art Museum, Maribor, Slovenia; Villa Grisebach, Berlin; Martin-Gropius Bau, Berlin; Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris and the Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Palma, Spain. His work has been acquired by institutions such as The Khalid Shoman Foundation Darat Al Funun, Amman; Collection Solidere, Beirut; MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Roma; Moontower Foundation, Frankfurt; Museum für Islamische Kunst, Berlin and Peter-Raue-Collection, Berlin.