March 26 – April 18, 2019
This exhibition features the latest stylized works of Kuwaiti artist Sami Mohammad. Best known for his bronze sculptures and addressing emotions of human suffering, these materials, forms and concepts have been transformed in a new way. His current work revolves around ongoing notions of migration, the transitional mental and physical state of leaving a known, yet distressing place in search of improved circumstances. In these works he captures moments and emotions of the displaced.
The course of Mohammad’s artistic career has been marked by stages, each carefully investigated and thoughtfully created. Though similar themes can be seen throughout, they are always addressed in different ways; each period provides an end but also a beginning to further develop practice and concept. Previously, feelings of confinement and struggle were expressed intricately and intensely in his three-dimensional works, capturing human suffering in the grimaces of facial expressions and dynamic bodily gestures.
In his current stage, Mohammad has evolved his medium and previous notions of restraint and distress. His attention moves to large canvases, that encompass the viewer with its scale, strong colour and content. He sets most of his backgrounds in solid colours, with an intensity and energy reminiscent of Rothko’s paintings; placing the viewer in a conceptual space. The colours used in the ropes represent opposing forces, emphasized further by their intertwining tension. This is a highlighted element in the series, where we see the artist moving further into abstraction.
With this he blends in his familiar figurative style, whilst also introducing a more contemporary view of the human form. Figures depicted in transitional moments emerge from the background, drawing the eye to bold outlines, simplified forms and detailed ghostly figures. Through them we are given an insight of the complexity of emotions related to being displaced.
These paintings are yet another milestone in Mohammad’s oeuvre, where we can see elements from his past work connecting with current ideas, also alluding to the next direction in his artistic career.