Najjar Abdul-Musawwir

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Best Kept Secret Series, 2009 Mixed Media, Burlap On Canvas 48 In. X 24 In. © Najjar Abdul-Musawwir
Best Kept Secret Series, 2009 Mixed Media, Burlap, Wood On Canvas 52 In. X 28 In. © Najjar Abdul-Musawwir
Best Kept Secret Series, 2009 Mixed Media, Burlap, Wood On Canvas 63 In. X 38 In. © Najjar Abdul-Musawwir
President Obama and First Lady Michelle, 2009 Mixed Media, Burlap On Canvas 32 In. X 40 In. © Najjar Abdul-Musawwir
Best Kept Secret Series, 2009 Mixed Media, Burlap On Canvas 60 In. X 30 In
I found it, 2002 Mixed Media 24 In. X 24 In. © Courtesy of the Artist and Southern Illinois Univeristy
Quick Facts
Birth year
School of Art & Design Southern Illinois University Carbondale, 1997, Master of Fine Arts
Representing galleries
Art Lectures, art workshops, best miami art project, abstract-expressionism, abstraction, Art Gallery Singapore contemporary, Art institute, British museum, chicago art contemporary, university-gallery, university-museum, school/university, University, Studio art school for childremn/teens/adults contemporary, N'Namdi Contemporary Miami, N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Arts, Detroit Institute of Arts, Chattanooga African-American Museum, National Art Gallery(Malaysia) painting, Berlin Art, Charles H. Wright Museum, Art-Chicago, Gallery-Chicago mixed-media, miami art, African-American Art, African-American painting, African-American Islamic art, islamic art mixed-media, Qatar Islamic Museum, Islamic Museum, printmaking silkscreen abstract, mixed-media, installation, landscape, modern, conceptual
Najjar's Bio/Selected Exhibition


Najjar Abdul-Musawwir was born October 25th, 1958, in Chicago, Illinois. He is an internationally acknowledge artist who has exhibited throughout the United States, Africa, Asia and Europe.  He currently works as an Associate Professor of studio arts and art history in the School of Art and Design at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale. He is the host for WSIU Expressions.

He has received distinguish and prestigious acknowledgments, and among them are: first Artist-n-Residency/exhibition for the N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art in Detroit, invitational Artist-n-Residency/exhibition by the Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery in Malaysia, commission to create piece the Visions of Our 44th President travelling exhibition hosted by Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit, Rickert Ziebold Trust Awardee, Judge William Holmes Cook Professorship Endowment, and was invited by the MacAuthur Foundation in Chicago as a member of an Illinois artists' consulting team.

Najjar’s works illustrate culture, faith, and history through abstract language. He uses different materials as a metaphor for the human experience; and thus, he abstracts material to discuss our abstract existence. His paintings are harmonious visions of contrasting colors, flowing liquefaction, and symbolic transparency. Najjar is known for using burlap sacks/material in his paintings. He consider it a profound and puissant symbol, the idea of burlap exploiting the surface, which speaks to the power of harvesting the spiritual experiences of the human-will – past, present, and beyond the 21st century.

Selected Solo Exhibitions:

2012    “What Lies Beneath: The Breast Cancer Series,” New/Old work

              African American Museum of Southern Illinois, Carbondale, IL

2011    Muhammad Speaks: Preserving an American Voice

            Tuanku Fauziah Museum and Gallery/Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang Island, Malaysia

            (Invitational Artist-in-Residency and exhibition)

2010  Inter Journey:  Experiencing Spiritual Aestheticism of Abstraction

           N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art/Grand Opening

           Movement Gallery, Detroit, MI

           (Invitational Artist-in-Residency and exhibition)

            Communicating in the Abstract

            Rend Lake College

            Learning Resource Center, Ina, IL

 2005   Islamic Art and African -American Experience

             Islamic Society of North America

             Regional Juried Art Exhibit

             South Central Regional Conference, Dallas, TX 

2004    Fatiha-Opening-Door-Abstract Painting:

             Spiritual, Intellectual & Visual Discussion

             Mid-America Alliance for African Studies Conference

             Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL                                                                                                   

Selected Group Exhibitions:

2012   10 Squared Exhibition

             The LeRoy Neiman Art Center, Harlem, NY

             Visions of Our 44th President

             Charles H. Wright Museum, Detroit, MI

2010    Curing the Global Society

              World Malaria Day

              University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

               Sponsored: Faiths Act Fellow, and Tony Blair Faith Foundation

               Interfaith Youth Core, London, WC2A 3LH

               Invitational – Chicago art tour of six artist’s paintings


               N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, Detroit, MI

               The Spiritual Art II

               Murpy Hill Gallery, Chicago, IL


             Contemporary Art Gallery

             Forest Park Community College, St. Louis, MO

 2007    Abstract Painting and Illinois Artists

               Portfolio Gallery, St. Louis, MO


              Mitchell Museum, Mt. Vernon, IL

2003    Black Creativity Exhibition

             Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL

             Contemporary Art Influence by Africa

             The Illinois Institute of Art Chicago, Chicago, IL

2001    Gallantly Streaming

              Yeiser Art Center, Paducah, KY

 1999    Panafest International Visual Art Exhibition

              Cape Coast Cultural Art Center

              Cape Coast, Ghana, Africa