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Study for a Studio by the Sea

Green on Red Gallery Dublin
April 13th - June 18th 2018

The exhibition title Study for a Studio by the Sea takes its name from one of the central works in the show. The large-scale painting depicts an artist’s desire to actively engage with, fantasise about and shape their environment through studio activity and painting. This work and the other paintings on show are an extension of Kassam’s ongoing project to develop a world in which to cite an artist. As a result, reoccurring themes and motifs related to landscape are present throughout this series of paintings. 

The universe he is creating on the 2D pictorial surface of his canvases are spaces the artist can enter into/onto. This imaginary escape route out of his own studio reality allows Kassam to intuitively indulge his appetite to invent the places, narratives and processes from which his paintings draw.  Moving between first person and third person points of view and from one painting to the next, scenes and activities simulated in works for this exhibition include: painting a not-too-distant Nearest Town (2018); a painting of a distant and desirable destination in Tropical Strokes ( 2018 ); and a fantasy of the artist to relocate to the coast played out in Study for a Studio by the Sea ( 2018 ).

The aesthetic of these paintings and Kassam’s practice in general is strongly influenced by his enthusiasm for modernist painting languages. The abbreviated content in his compositions can appear flattened or stretched, and emerge from combining hard-edge blocks of form, colour and imagery. In some works canvases are combined and incorporate collage. At times minimal and at times gestural, his paintings can blur in and out of legible imagery and pure abstraction. 

As always, the processes and concepts on show 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 the real world.

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