Mohammed Sami

Mohammed Sami (b. 1984, Baghdad) is an artist based in London. Sami approaches painting as an allegorical representation of the striking image of conflict and violence. His paintings explore belated memories triggered by common everyday objects from when he immigrated to Sweden from his native Iraq. Rather than using the stereotypical image of trauma to testify to the Iraq conflict, which he witnessed first-hand, Sami deploys painting to articulate war, memory, and loss obliquely. The semi-abstract register and multi-textured paint create a nuanced relationship between the original event and its present recollection in Sami’s artworks. These often appear playful. Yet, traditional genres such as still-life, internal-external spaces and landscapes acquire a strange twist, mute, and become uncanny illusions and threats.

Sami holds a BA in Fine Art from Belfast School of Art (2016) and an MFA from Goldsmiths University (2018).

Solo exhibitions include ‘After the Storm’, Blenheim Art Foundation, Woodstock (2024); ‘Muzzle of Time’, Luhring Augustine, New York, NY, USA (2023); ‘The Point 0’, Camden Art Centre, London, travelling to De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea (2023); Modern Art, London (2022); JAMM ART Gallery, Kuwait (2013); ‘Case of Emergency’, Dag Andersson Gallery, Norrköping (2012); Al Khanji Gallery, Aleppo (2006); Al Wasity Gallery, Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Baghdad (2005).

His works have been featured in group exhibitions at Pinault Collection, Paris (2024); Modern Art, Paris (2023); Modern Art, London (2022); Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2022); Aichi Prefectural Museum, Aichi (2022); Whitechapel Gallery, London (2022); Galleri Magnus Karlsson, Stockholm (2022); Hayward Gallery, London (2021); V.O Curations, London (2021); Towner Eastbourne Museum, Eastbourne (2020); Gallery Magnus Karlsson, Gotland (2020); Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool (2018); South London Gallery, London (2018); Virginia Commonwealth University School of Arts, Doha (2019); York Museum, York (2018); Norrköping Art Museum, Norrköping (2011); The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad (2006).

Sami’s works are held in collections including Arts Council Collection, London; Blenheim Art Foundation, Woodstock; Buffalo AKG Art Museum, Buffalo; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Christian Sveaas Collection, Oslo; The Government Art Collection, London; He Art Museum, Foshan; ICA Miami, Miami; Imperial War Museum, London; K11 Art Foundation, Hong Kong; The Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Baghdad; Los Angeles Country Museum of Art, Los Angeles; MAMCO, Geneva; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Rotterdam; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Pinault Collection, Paris; Rollins Museum of Art, Orlando; SFMoMA, San Francisco; Tate, London; The Permanent Collection of York Art Gallery, York.

Mohammed Sami is represented by Modern Art. 

Sami’s painting challenges the cliché image of suffering and provides a symptomatic perspective of conflict dynamics and its effects through a slow personal reading. His autobiographical works aim to evoke a widespread sense of loss that inhabits cultures collectively when selfishness extends into generosity.

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