Samer Tabbaa, was born in Taif, Saudi Arabia in 1945. He received his BA in Sociology and Anthropology in 1973 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1976 from Youngstown State University, Ohio. In 1979 he obtained his Masters degree in Sculpture from Kent State University, Ohio where he also gave classes in sculpture. Tabbaa moved to Jordan in 1980 and was appointed Director of the newly created Jordan National Gallery. He moved to Spain a year later, living there for three years and sharing a studio with Spanish sculptor Felician Hernandez, before returning to and settling in Jordan.

It is Tabbaa’s relationship with raw materials, as well as his minimalist approach to sculpture, that have characterized his artistic career. Tabbaa initially began working in stone as he was attracted to its strength, its powerful individuality and the way that different stones respond differently to human manipulation. He later began working with less resistant materials and also combining and manipulating differing substances. However, his belief in collaboration with the materials rather than the subjection of them continues to be his endeavour. Tabbaa aims to maintain the integrity and simplicity of the materials that he works with and yet also highlight the intervention of the artist. He therefore leaves behind traces of the untreated, raw, rough surface, then contrasts this with his observable manipulation.

Samer Tabbaa’s work is included in notable public collections including, Brown University (Rhode Island, USA) and Deutsche Bank (Geneva, Switzerland) as well as private collections in Amman, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, France and Switzerland.