NEW YORK, NY.- Luhring Augustine
announces representation of Tomm El-Saieh in collaboration with CENTRAL FINE, Miami. El-Saiehs vibrant paintings and considered practice bring a compelling addition to the gallerys roster of renowned international artists.
suggest from a distance speckled veils of atmospheric color
Up close, they reveal thousands of tiny marks, blotches, and erasures, each discretely energetic and decisive. The accumulation mesmerizes. Grasping for its coherence is like trying to breathe under waterwhich, to your pleasant surprise, as in a dream, you find that you can almost do
something about the present world has proved congenial to this artists startling revitalization of abstract painting. There will be more to see and to know of El-Saieh in the near future. Hes a comer. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, March 5, 2018
Tomm El-Saiehs dense and rhythmic paintings derive inspiration from myriad sources, including the history of and discourse on American and international abstraction, and Haitian Voodoo traditions such as trance-induction and percussive music. Obsessive markings notations, shapes, scratches, and erasures saturate the surfaces of his canvases, creating fields of bursting, complex color. The synesthetic, all-over compositions that El-Saieh produces from this meticulous process are at once sublime and sensual, mystical and direct, chaotic and restrained. While firmly planted in the realm of abstraction, El-Saiehs paintings also suggest complex networks, sprawling cities, or molecular structures, and within the clustered code of his brushwork, figurative associations emerge and recede. This compelling ambiguity in the work invites close examination and rewards continued looking. Echoing throughout El-Saiehs work is traditional Haitian paintings emphasis on punctuation, repetition, economy of paint application, and color sensitivity; however, he eschews the religious, political, and quotidian scenes that dominate its highly codified and narrative content. For El-Saieh, his hybridized and entirely singular sense of abstraction is a distinctly personal experience, one that is performative and experiential.