Sanam Khatibi

Sanam Khatibi’s works deal with animality, and our primal impulses and the core of her practice interrogates our relationship to power structures, specifically the duality of triumph and failure. The recurrent themes that often feature in her work question our relationship with excess, loss of control, bestiality, the male-female dynamics, domination and submission. She is also interested in the thin line that exists between fear and desire, and how closely they are interrelated.

Her subjects live on their impulses in alluring, exotic landscapes. They are ambiguous with their relationship to power, violence, sensuality and each other. Wildlife and animals are an integral part of her practice, and her subjects are often depicted within the same plane as the flora and fauna. Her work consists of paintings, embroideries, tapestries, and sculptures.


Born 1979 in Tehran, Iran

Lives and works in Brussels, Belgium

Solo Exhibitions


In my dreams, I kill him every night, Mendes Wood DM, São Paulo, Brazil


Lemon Drizzle, Groeninge Museum, Bruges, Belgium


Cyanide, rodolphe janssen, Brussels, Belgium

Cruelest of the seas, Kunsthal Gent, Ghent, Belgium


An hour before the Devil fell, P.P.O.W, New York, NY USA

De ta salive qui mord, BPS22, Charleroi, Belgium

The Murders of the Green River, rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium


Wild Mink, Artlead Salon, Brussels, Belgium


Rivers in your mouth, rodolphe janssen, Brussels, Belgium

With tendresse and longing, Billboard Series #6: Art in Public Space, Artlead, Gent, Belgium

No Church in the wild, The Cabin LA, Los Angeles CA, USA


Le jardin décomposé, Super Dakota, Brussels, Belgium

The hollow in the ferns, NICC Vitrine, Brussels, Belgium


Ask me nicely, trampoline, Antwerp, Belgium


Séduire ou crever de faim, Island, Brussels, Belgium

Group Exhibitions


Schurend Paradijs, Kunsthal KAdE, Amersfoort, Netherlands


Modern Love (or Love in the Age of Cold Intimacies), Centraal Museum Utrecht, Utrecht, the Netherlands

One way or another—10 jaar Posture Editions, SMAK, Ghent, Belgium

Paradise, The Triennial of Kortrijk, Kortrijk, Belgium

Beyond the Looking Glass, Curated by Zuzanna Ciolek, UTA Artist Space, Beverly Hills, CA USA


Der abscheuliche Kuss, Kunstverein Dresden, Dresden, Germany

Tears of Eros, Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands


The Seventh Continent, 16th Istanbul Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud, Istanbul, Turkey

Some Trees, Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles, CA USA

Le Salon, M HKA, Antwerp, Belgium


Terres de Femmes, Praz-Delavallade, Paris, France

We attack at nightfall, Mendes Wood DM, Brussels, Belgium

Op de grond, tussenin of aan de hemel, Curated by Els Wuyts, Ten Bogaerde, Coxyde, Belgium

100 Sculptures, Curated by Todd Von Ammon & Josep Ian Henrikson, Anonymous Gallery, Mexico City, Mexico

Mademoiselle, CRAC Occitane, Sète, France

SEED, Paul Kasmin Gallery, New York, NY USA

Dead Eden, Lyles & King, New York, NY USA

What are you staring at?, curated by Domenico De Chirico, Eduardo Secci, Florence, Italy

Quel amour !?, MAC, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Marseille, France

20 YEARS NICC - JUBILEE - A works, NICC, Antwerp, Belgium

Weeping, Dreaming, Fucking, Laughing, Wschód Gallery, Warsaw, Poland


Listening To The Form, Panthera, Brussels, Belgium

Hecate, Various Small Fires, Los Angeles, CA USA

Dalonaz, Royal, Brussels, Belgium


Summer in the City, Christine König Gallery, Vienna, Austria

Biennial of Painting, Museum of Deinze, Deinze, Belgium

Balls & Glory, Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium


Louise186, Brussels Art Days, Brussels, Belgium

Me, Myself and I, trampoline, Antwerp, Belgium

Palourdes cuites, Christopher Crescent, Brussels, Belgium

Every day I’m..., Harlan Levey, Brussels, Belgium


The Penthouse Art Event, Harlan Levey Projects, Bloom Hotel, Brussels, Belgium


Thalie Art Project (curated by Emmanuel Lambion and Nathalie Guiot), Brussels, Belgium


The Antagonist, Waterside Contemporary, London, UK


Musée d’Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium

BPS22, Charleroi, Belgium

Centraal Museum, Utrecht, The Netherlands

Belfius Art Collection, Belgium

Province du Hainaut, Belgium

Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Canada