Discipline: Visual Art – installation

Rehab El Sadek

Discipline: Visual Art – installation
Region: Austin, TX
MacDowell Fellowships: 2020

Rehab El Sadek is an Egyptian-born conceptual artist whose career has spanned more than 25 years. Using mediums such as sound, photography, sculpture, and the written word, her work explores issues related to immigration, belonging, communication, and language. She has exhibited her work internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Career highlights include the “Rebelle: Art and Feminism 1969 – 2009” a group show at Museum voor Moderne Kunst and being selected by Jannis Kounellis for his Pavilion at Biennale Dei Giovanni Artisti in Rome. In addition to being a MacDowell Fellow, her awards and residencies include the UNESCO-supported Artists’ Bursaries at Gasworks Artists Studios in London, the Art Omi residency in Ghent, New York, the Thami Mnyele Residency Award in Amsterdam, and a Sharjah Biennale Installation Prize. She is the recent recipient of a Foundation of Contemporary Art Emergency Grant. In 2017, she was named the City of Austin’s first artist-in-residence, exploring environmental and social issues embedded in a city department.

While at MacDowell, she worked on the structure of a mythological city that follows a social space. She created miniature sculptures, conceptual drawings, and plans representing different features of an ancient fantasy city, including interiors and exteriors, zen views — parks — bedrooms, and backyards. The purpose was to create a strong foundation for works that will transport the viewer to intimate secret spots in the ancient city of K e m e t. This is a future solo exhibition with Women & Their Work Gallery in Austin, Texas for 2021. The works continue a conceptual cycle inspired by Italio Calvino’s 1972 novel Invisible Cities. The novel has been informing El Sadek’s recent works such as The Memory Place exhibition, where she explored themes of immigration, belonging, communication, and language. The project was supported by the Foundation For Contemporary Arts Emergency grant of 2019.



Rehab El Sadek worked in the Adams studio.

Given to the MacDowell Association by Margaret Adams of Chicago, the half-timbered, stuccoed Adams Studio was designed by MacDowell Fellow and architect F. Tolles Chamberlin ca. 1914. Chamberlin was primarily a painter, but also provided designs for the Lodge and an early renovation of the main hall. The studio’s structural integrity was restored during a thorough renovation in…

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