Muhannad Shono is a self-taught artist based in Riyadh, where he was born in 1977. His characteristic visual vocabulary appears in works ranging from intimate drawings to large-scale sculptures and robotic technologically-driven installations. His projects are catalyzed and structured by narrative, creating and contesting collective and historical realities that often find their origins in his personal memories.
Many of his works circle around the idea of the ‘line’, which Shono develops both as a horizontality present in his major installations and as a conceptual framework in which the idea of development – whether of a nation’s modernization or an artist’s own practice – is a central metaphor. The line also refers back to his ongoing, though lesser exhibited, practice in drawing and graphic storytelling.
The representative for Saudi Arabia at the 2022 Venice Biennale, Shono’s all-black aesthetic has become a recognizable emblem of the new generation of Saudi artists, with other major commissions for the Diriyah Contemporary Art Biennale, Riyadh (2021), Desert X Al Ula (2020), I Love You Urgently, and 21,39, Jeddah Arts (2019).