Born in Al Zubair, Iraq in 1936, Abdullah Al-Shaikh is a Saudi artist and considered one of the Kingdom’s pioneers in modern art. His art is dedicated to picture human being’s constant urge to for his existence and conflicts and translates the out-coming emotions from shocking reality, depicted in a vividly-strong and visually-appealing forms and shapes, which also reflect the persuade of land, history and tradition on Al-Sheikh’s art. After graduating from Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad in 1959 where he was taught and influenced by Jawad Salim and Fa’eq Hassan, who are two of the most important established artists in Iraq.
Al-Shaikh resumed his academic studies abroad and obtained Higher Diploma in Design and Printmaking from Essex College of Technology in 1965. In his professional life, he has been Chairman of the Design Department at the Royal Printing House in Al Jubail (1984 – 1999) and was a judge in several art competitions such as: Higher Community of Saudi Airlines Competition (2003), The 30th Annual Exhibition of Kingdom of Bahrain Artists (2001), Kuwait Artists Exhibition (1997). Since his first solo in 1981 in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, Al-Shaikh has been participating in numerous exhibitions and art festivals across the Middle East and worldwide such as: Aramco Exhibition of Fine Art (Saudi Arabia, 2011), the Cultural Week Exhibition (Rabat, 2003), Institute de Arab Monde (France, 2002), Sharjah Biennale (UAE, 1997), Arab Artists Exhibition (Beijing, 1996), Baghdad Second Festival (United Kingdom, 1989).
Al-Shaikh is the recipient of several awards, including The Silver Palme d’Or Award seventh periodic in Kuwait (2003), the Golden Palme d’Or Award for periodic artists in Muscat (2001), National Festival Heritage and Culture Award in the Saudi Janadriah (1999), Jury Biennale Award of AlMahaba First Biennale in Lattakia, Syria (1995), the Golden Palme d’Or Award of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Exhibition in Sharjah (1994), and Second Place Award of the tenth Saudi Contemporary Art Gallery in Riyadh (1990).