Walid Raad

Artist whose work questions how we narrate our histories (77 in 2012)

From his work as the Atlas Group, a fictional collective (the sketchy veracity of which mirrored the impossible concept of ‘truth’ in post-civil war Lebanon), to Raad’s solo show at Museo Jumex, Mexico City (also shown this year at ICA Boston and MoMA, New York), the artist has proved to be one of the most astute interpreters of Arab society and an enduring influence on many other artists in the region for whom the historic archive has become a subject. For the past eight years Raad has turned his attention to the structures of the Arab artworld, both in his studio practice and his participation in the Gulf Labor Coalition (which saw him refused entry to the UAE in 2015). Sculptural works from the ongoing series Scratching on things I could disavow were exhibited in March at Paula Cooper in New York (where he now lives), and the following month he was awarded the ICP’s art photography prize.