Sameh Ismail

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A Note about My Practice

For the past eight years the Arabic Alphabets have intrigued me and shaped my Painting practice: the form of the letter, the symbol, the meaning and the Phonetic.

My dual practice as a professional painter by rigorous formal fine art education--and musician/percussionist feed into each other. The sounds produced by music led me to try to transcend the simple visual aesthetics of standard abstract painting; I introduced visual elements that could be linked to sound. Arabic letters have entered my surfaces as a recognized cultural form, a visual element that could be pronounced. I introduce elements that can be perceived and recognized in ways that could extend the simple visual legibility: elements that could actually move with the brush strokes and be representative as equal energy to the energy by which my abstract painterly techniques construct my canvases. The versatility of form of the Arabic letter, and its 1500 years of vocalized and painted history, plus the centuries old visual culture of “Khatt” –or Arabic Calligraphy—all complement my inspiration as a painter.

In my research I use surfaces cut in an extreme horizontal manner; the works are painted and displayed either vertically or horizontally like ancient Egyptian scrolls. I use sepias and blacks to signify age. The Arabic letters are not used as decorative motifs, but rather to recount a phrase or a meaningful sentence. My surfaces try to represent my very multilayered culture: Arab, Egyptian, Mediterranean and African, where writing and painting were paramount tools for several renaissances throughout history.
Exhibition Collection:
All Collection   I   Available
  Artist Biography
Sameh Ismail


Joint exhibition with artist Mr. Hamdy Reda- El Manesterly Palace- Cultural Development Fund.


Group Exhibition – El Falaky Gallery – AUC, organized by the artist Mahmoud Hamdy.
Personal Exhibition – Atelier Al- Quahira.
Group Exhibition- Qebab Gallery- Abu Dhabi- Emirates.
Solo Exhibition- Gezira Arts Centre- Sector of Fine Arts.


Group Exhibition for “Al Masaar Artists”, Al Noskha Al Oula Gallery.
“A Dialogue on Railway” Project – Graffiti - in cooperation with the Austrian Graffiti artist Thomas Mock – organized by the Austrian Cultural Forum.


Guest Artist for one month – Art Di Natura – Barcelona – Spain – Artellwa Contemporary Art Space.
General Exhibition – Art Palace - Sector of Fine Arts
Group Exhibition – The Arab Calligraphers – Nabd Gallery – Jordan-organized by Al Masaar Gallery.
Group Exhibition – Daeret Al Fenoun – Kuwait- organized by Al Masaar Gallery. Group Exhibition for Al Masaar Artists – Al Noskha Al Thanya Gallery.
Group Exhibition - titled “The Body”- Al Masaar Gallery.


Solo Exhibition – Al Gezira Arts Centre- Sector of Fine Arts.
General Exhibition – Art Palace - Sector of Fine Arts.


Group Exhibition – Articulant Babbon Gallery.
Group Exhibition titled “Egypt the Mother” – ZAMALEK ART GALLERY.
Graffiti, in cooperation with the Spanish artist Carlos Noreya – Articulat Babbon Gallery.
Solo Exhibition - organized by ZAMALEK ART GALLERY- Kempinsky Hotel – Cairo.
Art Fair – Marrakesh – Morocco, by Ward Cultural Foundation.
Group Exhibition at (Fa) Gallery – Kuwait – by Ward Cultural Foundation.
Joint Exhibition with Artist Mr. Hamdy Reda – Islamic Arts Festival – Sharjah Museum.


Art Fair (Miami Palm Beach) USA by Seira Art Gallery.
Group Exhibition at the residence of the European Union Ambassador in Egypt, organized by Aida Al Tarei.
Commissar of the exhibition of contemporary art in Riyadh for the occasion of Silver Jubilee of the Egyptian- Saudi Cultural Relations.
Sharjah Biennale for the Arabic Calligraphy 2012 Fifth Session.
Group Exhibition at Washington DC- USA. At Seira Contemporary Art Gallery.

The Holdings

The National Museum of Jordan.
Sharjah Museum.
Marras Emaar Masr, Egypt.
Four Seasons Hotel, Nile Plaza, Garden City, Egypt.
Fairmount Hotel, Nile Towers, Egypt.