About Khalifa Qattan

• Khalifa Al-Qattan was born in Kuwait in 1934 during the “Haddamah-Destruction” year of which many mud houses were destroyed due to the sever rain falls that winter. His birth is estimated to be between late December and mid January of 1934
• In 1949, at a very early age due to special cicomstances, he worked as a teacher in the Najah school at the young age of 15 years old.
• He was the first Kuwaiti artist to hold a personal exhibition in 1953.
• In 1953 he was sent to the UK on a scholarship and in 1958 he graduated with honors and obtained his BS degree in Woodwork Engineering from the Leicester Collage of Art and Technology.
• He then returned to Kuwait and worked as a formen for the Ministry of General Works and a Teacher in the Shuwaikh University.
• The first artist to write articles in fine arts published in Alba’aza magazine in 1952.
• In 1962, Khalifa Al-Qattan created his own unique art style called CIRCLISM based on philosophy, science, and spirituality and became renowned in his country and abroad.
• In 1962, Khalifa was the first Kuwaiti artist to engage in a tour of personal exhibitions abroad starting in Italy, and Egypt.
• He was one of the first artists to be sponsored by the government as a free artist at the Free Art Atelier in 1962.
• Khalifa Al-Qattan was the first Kuwaiti artist to have a full reportage made of his work in the renowned Al-Arabi magazine in 1964.
• He was the first Kuwaiti artist to be invited by the United Nations Postal-Stamps Designing Department to join in the stamp-design competition in 1966 and became a member of the Postal Stamp Choosing Committee.
• Khalifa Al-Qattan established the Kuwait Arts Association in 1968 and was elected first president.
• In 1969, Khalifa established the Kuwaiti Biennale.
• In 1972, Khalifa became part of the Higher Board of Representative to establish The Kuwaiti National Council of Culture, Arts and Literature. This Council began its official activity in 1973.
• In 1974, Khalifa Al-Qattan became a member of the National Council and established a budget for buying works from local artists, and became part of the choosing committee.
• In 1974, he established the Exhibition Hall of Dahia Abdullah Al-Salim.
• In 1975 he opened the first collective series of artworks of one title “The Apple” which addressed the social issues of women and the family, sex, religion and tradition and its social implications on society. That was followed by "Women I Saw" in 1978.
• He was the first Kuwaiti artist to be officially invited to hold exhibitions in European and Arab countries starting from Italy in 1964, Germany 1973, Qatar 1977, 1978, 1989, and 1993, and Bahrain in 1979.
• In 1981, a special invitation came from the Ministry of Culture of the PR .of China to hold a personal exhibition in Beijing .He was the first artist from the Arab world to be invited.
• Khalifa Al-Qattan held many personal exhibitions and joined scores of collective exhibitions nationally and internationally.
• In 1993 the artist was invited by the ruler of Sharjah during the Sharjah Biennale and was awarded the honor of “Artist of the Arab World” by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Mohammed AlQasim.
• In 1994 the Ministry of Information published the book "The Prophesies of Khalifa AL-Qattan” which consisted of a collection of 47 paintings painted in three decades (from 60s, 70s, and 80s) depicting the Iraqi invasion and the aftermath. The book was written by his wife, writer and artist, Lidia Qattan.
• In 1999 Khalifa was honored by the Asalah Group for his works and achievements.
• He was scheduled to hold the second series exhibition of one theme “The Egg” or Creation, but he passed away on the 27th of June 2003.
• In October 2004 "The Egg" exhibition was opened alongside the works of his wife Lidia in The Exhibition Art Hall of Dahia Abdullah AlSalim to honor his memory.
• That same year, The First Khalifa Al-Qattan Children Art Exhibition was organized and opened in Sharq mall with the collaboration of the Sharq administration and his daughter Jalila Al-Qattan to commemorate his legacy. It was scheduled to be a yearly event so as to be opened on the day of his passing.

Our users

Users of this website could range from art students, art researchers, art museums, and any one interested in art, new art styles, or just art and culture of Kuwait and the Middle East. In fact one of the art students, Mr. Moaied Hassan, www.sheikoftheartists.com/index.html  who obtained his Ph.D. in Art from the University of Birmingham, UK, presented his Doctoral Thesis on Circlism, and it's creator Khalifa Qattan, but had to go through extensive personal research since no, or very scarce, information about Khalifa, or Circlism was available on the internet. Now, anyone wanting information on the artist and his work will be able to find it on this website. So, continue to visit our website for new updates.