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El Saieh abstract painting
El Saieh abstract painting

Tomm El-Saieh, Battery, 2019 Acrylic on canvas

Tomm El-Saieh‘s paintings evoke the mystical feeling of hearing incantations in strange tongues. Born of mixed heritage in Port-au-Prince, El-Saieh migrated to Miami at the age of 12. The artist is steeped in Western and Caribbean art traditions; he co-directs an artist-run space in Miami while also managing a Port-au-Prince gallery of Haitian art founded by his grandfather.

In effort to address the tensions of his hybrid background, El-Saieh employs a unique manner of painting amalgamating elements recalling Impressionism and Modernist abstraction with flair endemic to his native Haiti. At a distance, the five monumental paintings in “Run,” his current show at Matthew Brown Gallery, resemble woven or embroidered textiles shimmering with subtle variations of greens, blues, reds, oranges and grays. These stretched canvases almost seem to defy logic and billow like curtains in the wind. 

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