Nazar Yahya studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad, graduating in 1987. Like many of his contemporaries, Yahya witnessed the wars and post-2003 invasion of Iraq, experiences which he explores in his art work.
He has held solo exhibitions at Al-Riwaq Gallery, Baghdad, 1994; French Cultural Centre, Doha, 2000 and 2002; Orfali Gallery, Amman, 2004; Karim Gallery, Amman, 2007; and Sultan Gallery, Kuwait, 2008. He has participated in group exhibitions including Environment and Surrounding in Iraqi Art, Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman, 1997; Three Iraqi Artists, Agial Gallery, Beirut, 1999; Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, 2002; Dafatir: Contemporary Iraqi Book Art, University of North Texas, Denton, Texas, travelling exhibition, 2005 – 08; Word into Art, British Museum, London, 2006; My Home Land, Art Sawa Gallery, Dubai, 2010; Art in Iraq Today (with Ghassan Ghaib and Kareem Risan), Meem Gallery, Dubai, 2010, and ARTIFACTUAL realities, Station Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, Texas, 2012. Yahya’s awards include three artistic awards he received for Homage to Jewad Selim in 1997 and First Prize for Painting, Emaar, Dubai, 2004. His work is held in collections including British Museum, London; Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad; Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, and Jordan National Gallery of Fine Arts, Amman. He lives and works in Houston, Texas.