Modern Art

Modern Art is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of new works by Mohammed Sami. This is Sami’s first solo exhibition with Modern Art. 

Mostly large-format and acrylic on linen, Mohammed Sami’s paintings depict glimpses of empty, built environments and interior still-lives that – while at first appearing mundane — carry a weight of autobiographical references and affective meaning. With bold colours and flattened perspectives, attention is given as much to textures and details within the frame as it is to the composition as a whole, which is a means to get closer to the way memory works — triggered as it is, through the nuances of everyday minutiae. 

Depictions of domesticity show signs of family life, but where the traditional still-life might evoke tranquillity, Sami’s atmospheres are far more worrisome. Quotidian objects stand in for much more frightening images: stacks of red rolled rugs evoke blood-soaked flesh, the shadow of a spider plant suggests a deadly creature. In this way, Sami’s work deftly manages to summon a sense of deep unease lurking below the surface without exposing it directly, making it seem almost as though it is a trick of the mind, or a hallucination. 

Mohammed Sami was born in Baghdad in 1984 and began his artistic education there, studying drawing and painting at The Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, in 2005. In 2007, during the Iraq War, Sami immigrated to Sweden as a refugee. In 2015, he studied Fine Art at Ulster University in Belfast, shortly before arriving in London to complete a Masters of Fine Art at Goldsmiths in 2018. He continues to live and work in London and Norrköping, Sweden.

Mohammed Sami’s works have been included in a number of current and recent institutional exhibitions including: Mixing It Up: Painting Today, curated by Ralph Rugoff, Hayward Gallery, London (2021); Homeplace. V.O Curations-Mayfair, London (2021); Towner International, Towner Eastbourne Museum, UK (2020); Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Liverpool Biennial travelling to South London Gallery (2018); The Sea is the Limited, York Museum, York, UK, travelling to Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Doha (2018−2019); The Culture Night of Norrköping City, Norrköping Art Museum, Sweden (2011); and The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad (2007). Later this year, Sami will be included in The London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, London (2022) and Still Alive, Aichi Triennale, Aichi Arts Center, Japan (2022).

For more information, please contact Alexander Glover (alexander@​modernart.​net)