Green on Red Gallery Dublin
20th May - 2nd July 2016
In his new series of paintings at The Green on Red Gallery, Kassam continues to develop invented narratives that centre around an artist’s supposed activities, environment and viewpoints. The works in this exhibition have a particular focus on the creative output (works) of his hypothetical practitioner.
Because Ireland is an island, perhaps there was, or still is, the potential for forms of painting to emerge that are particularly endemic to here, like Ireland as a sort of Galápagos Islands model for painting. Maybe the proliferation of landscape in Irish painting, or the murals in Northern Ireland are cases for that, forms of painting that emerged as a result of our particular conditions. Those forms of Painting could be viewed as an act of repossession, a land grab or reclaiming of territory through the medium. Kassam’s approach in recent work to imagine a semi fictional world to site an artist in, is an ongoing project and an attempt to create his own conditions for the emergence of potential practice and narratives.
The paintings in ‘Works’ depict subjects and narratives usually situated in or around an artist’s studio or urban environment. Painting in the third person, Kassam plays out and proposes potential artistic activity that emerges from these worlds. These include an artist designing and displaying a flag for his practice (Study for his flag & A flag for his practice), exhibiting new works (New work), and a depiction of fictional lost work (Slide jpg - lost early work). The aesthetic of these and Kassam’s other work is influenced by the painted fabric of the Irish urban environment and his appreciation for modernist abstracted painterly language. Blocks of colour and form are haphazardly combined to create visual arrangements and narratives. Canvases are often cropped, flipped, glued, and can incorporate various studio materials such as tape, photographs, paper, wood, tacks, etc. These 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 Kassam’s real world.