RAMON KASSAM – GALLERY
22nd May – 10th July 2015
Gallery’ is an exhibition of recent work at Limerick City Gallery of Art by Limerick born artist Ramon Kassam. Paintings form the basis of his practice and incorporate various motifs in their often ruthless and labored construction. The works in this exhibition re-connect with the concept of the artist as creative subject, combining the thematic of the artist's workspace (canvas, studio, gallery and urban environment) with formal and conceptual references to the autonomous reality of modernist abstraction.
The paintings are the result of an intuitive reshuffling and re-contextualization of studio materials, art histories, biographical elements and formal structures. They relate to one another through an invented narrative centered around an artist’s supposed activities, environment and viewpoints. The paintings are intended to act as both the documentation and result of this hypothetical narrative. These compositions of invented spaces, viewpoints, paintings and actions, owe much of their painterly gesture to Kassam’s cut and paste approach to absorb and refract the abstract surface quality of the urban environment, particularly that of his hometown of Limerick City.
‘He likens urban surroundings and experiences to physically living within a painting, citing the haphazard combinations of artificial colour, texture, form and narrative on any given streetscape as part of his concept’ 1 .
This combined with his appreciation for modernist abstracted painterly language informs much of his aesthetic. Colour and form are erratically combined to create visual arrangements and give birth to, or alter narrative. Canvases are often cropped, flipped, stitched together or glued, and can incorporate various studio materials such as tape, paper, wood, tacks, etc. These processes and concepts are intended to provide multiple readings of the work, but ultimately aim to connect to painting’s visual tradition, and the physical and psychological landscape of Kassam’s world.
1 Michele Horrigan exhibition text – Ramon Kassam | Portrait cuts itself out on the floor,