Huseyin Sami’s solo exhibition Modern Pictures at Sophie Gannon Gallery explores the artist’s continued commitment to form, materiality and experimentation within the context of painting.
Since the early 2000s, Sami has engaged with an artistic practice that has aimed to continually push the materiality of paint. This has been realised through the process of time and patience, chance and play. For example, in his widely renowned ‘paint skin’ works, Sami’s process involves leaving vessels of house paint uncovered and exposed, allowing the paint to dry. From there, the artist takes playful gestures as his point of departure, here pushing the materiality to its limits. The result is of course a painting, but not as we typically know it – Sami’s paintings take on a lived reality of the medium itself.
The psychology of colour, too, is important in his works. Sami does not prescribe a heavy, content-driven agenda. Instead viewers have agency in their own reading of the work. Sami prefers it this way. Through this process, he activates a vault of memories from audiences. Using house paint, a familiar domestic material, Sami evokes a sense of nostalgia and invites audiences to consider what a particular colour means to them.
Sami is deeply informed by art history and his years of training in the field. While many artists might seek only a rudimentary understanding of art history and its highlights, Sami instead critically analyses the history of painting to see how he can contribute a new methodology to the medium. He as an artist is determined to produce a fresh response to the canon of painting.
– Tess Maunder, 2021