Gallery Tilal|Sami Mohammad

this painting welcomes you into a hall filled with sami mohammad's most recent works. known primarily for his sculptures, mohammad has on display around forty paintings and forty sculptures created over the past ten years

I visited Gallery Tilal for very personal reasons yesterday: the exhibition of my first ever inspiration, Sami Mohammad. I remember my father taking me to the Free Arts Atelier over thirty years ago. When my eyes fell on Mohammad’s shocking sculptures. As scary as they should have been to an eight-year-old, I wasn’t afraid; I was just fascinated by his depiction of the human form. He was the first person to demonstrate to me the impossibilities we can achieve through our work as artists with a free mind: the impossibility of a jaw stretching that far down, the impossibility of a man fitting in such a small box, the impossibility of the limbs bending the way they do. But most importantly, I wondered at the emotion and desperation which push a man to end up in such states of impossibility. And from that day on, I started testing myself, my mind and experimented with how far I could push that envelope. So although you exhibit very rarely, thank you for sharing yourself with us one more time (in a career which has spanned over forty years, this is just his third solo exhibition).

the p.o.w.'s scream, bronze, 25 x 25 x15cm

humanities and saduisms, acrylic on canvas, 127 x 127cm. of all the paintings, i think this one was one of my favorites for reasons very obvious to myself and those who know me. i LOVE the hands and feet. and the painting itself is so delicate compared to many of his sculptures and paintings

man screaming

as disturbing as these should be, how is it that i find beauty in them?

jam at the exit, bronze, 46 x 46 x 61cm. i like to explore these sculptures from many angles...

...such as this one. peekaboo!

...and this one

detail from humanities and saduisms 23, acrylic on canvas, 115 x 115cm

sabra and shatila, bronze, 55 x 25 x 72cm, in commemoration of the sabra and shatila massacre of 1982

i was very surprised by this sculpture, whereby mohammad has abandoned his detailing for a more restrained-albeit just as powerful- rendition of the human form

this lady's about to take flight. these are so different from his other sculptures. it's funny because i just noticed that they are women, and that they are segregated from the men!

this photo is an homage to my daughter :)

3 Comments on “Gallery Tilal|Sami Mohammad”

  1. Ghadah,
    Beauty doesn’t have to be “comfortable”. Beauty is a reference, I believe, to “seeing” what “is”.

    You “see”.

    Thank you for sharing your heart.

  2. Ghadah, having just come from a visit to the Sami Mohammed collection at Gallery Tilal, I haven’t uttered a word since. As my camera was not with me, you really added another twist. I feel like going back again – the juxtaposition of his paintings with the sculptures was liberating and I would go back and forth. What an poignant and riveting show especially at this time in our human story…. I think will go back on another quiet morning as his characters are frozen in the pain of oppression… as you said the beauty is powerfully there..

  3. I don’t feel his paintings add anything to the show. I felt I was seeing the works of two artists here. I’ve always felt that about his paintings. Nonetheless, on departing the gallery I have been left with an emptiness in the pit of my stomach brought on by the pain of viewing his scultpures. They are at once difficult to look at, yet also impossible to avert one’s gaze from. Outstanding is perhaps a word used too often and without qualification, but it describes his sculptures perfectly.

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