b. 1985, Malaysia

Mandy El-Sayegh Biography

Born in Selangor in Malaysia in 1985, Mandy El-Sayegh moved to the United Kingdom with her family at the age of five. In 2007 she received her BFA from the University of Westminster in London, followed by a Royal College of Art MFA that was centred on painting, but the artist has since expanded her contemporary art practice to writing, installation, and drawing.

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El-Sayegh is concerned with the part-to-whole relations in philosophy and science, and how fragments of information can be re-formed to generate new meaning. Her practice is inherently fluid, involving processes of layering, erasure, and obfuscation. These processes are at play in the artist's ongoing 'Net-Grid' series, started in 2010, in which fragments of writing and images can be seen through layers of paint that have been applied using the wet-on-wet technique so that each layer absorbs into the next. On top, a hand-painted grid further obscures the layers while 'holding in' the information beneath—a literal reference to a net, and the act of catching something.

El-Sayegh's 'Net-Grid' paintings appear as cohesive compositions from afar; however, close up, elements appear sectioned off from each other by the grid. This micro-to-macro dynamic is at play across the artist's practice. Exhibitions of her artwork often include vitrines of what she calls her 'archive'—objects and images that mirror the composites of her paintings. In the artist's first institutional solo exhibition in the United Kingdom at Chisenhale Gallery, titled Cite Your Sources (12 April–9 June 2019), objects and images in vitrines included bars of Imperial Leather soap and iPhone cases, their display addressing the process of categorisation. Also on view in the exhibition were pages from the Financial Times, applied directly to the walls and floor of the gallery and overlaid with inscriptions in English and Arabic, along with maps and schematics. The pinkish hue of the paper recalled the tone of human flesh and the body's implicit entanglement in global economic, political, and social structures.

In an Ocula Conversation with Para Site deputy director Claire Shea, transcribed from a talk held in advance of the artist's solo exhibition at Lehmann Maupin in Hong Kong (Dispersal, 11 July23 August 2019), El-Sayegh explains her approach to the show as an interest in 'this idea of an explosion, and a way to kind of start again from that.' This 'reformation of parts', as she calls it, is also at play in her ongoing 'Piece Paintings' (2010–ongoing), which are composed of disparate imagery—the body being a recurring feature—and text, including logos, which, the artist explains, 'have a magical quality that can be likened to witchcraft'.

El-Sayegh was shortlisted for the 7th edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2017. That same year, the artist's installation Boundary Work was exhibited at Sharjah Biennial 13, having been commissioned by the Sharjah Art Foundation. The artist's works have been included in a number of group exhibitions, including Ecologies of Darkness at S A V V Y Contemporary in Berlin (2019).

Tessa Moldan | Ocula | 2019

Mandy El-Sayegh Featured Artworks

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Blessings (傲) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Mandy El-Sayegh Blessings (傲), 2022 Silkscreened oil on linen, acrylic, calligraphy scrolls and collaged elements
74 x 74 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Blessings (叫) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Mandy El-Sayegh Blessings (叫), 2022 Silkscreened oil on linen, acrylic, calligraphy scrolls and collaged elements
74 x 74 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Third Body by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Mandy El-Sayegh Third Body, 2020 Oil on silkscreened linen and collaged elements
250 x 150 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Passengers by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting
Mandy El-Sayegh Passengers, 2018 Oil and mixed media on linen with artist's frame
179.1 x 152.4 x 3.8 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
transliterated cut script by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting
Mandy El-Sayegh transliterated cut script, 2021 Oil and mixed media on silkscreened linen
146 x 156 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Casket Seal by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting
Mandy El-Sayegh Casket Seal, 2021 Oil and mixed media on silkscreened linen
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Windows 4 (to leave) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork painting
Mandy El-Sayegh Windows 4 (to leave), 2018 Ink on silk canvas
205.7 x 139.7 x 2.5 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
design for tights by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork mixed media
Mandy El-Sayegh design for tights, 2018 Oil and paper on linen with artist steel frame
102 x 115.5 cm (incl frame)
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery

Mandy El-Sayegh Recent Exhibitions

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Mandy El-Sayegh Represented By

Lehmann Maupin contemporary art gallery in 501 West 24th Street, New York, USA Lehmann Maupin Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York, Seoul

Mandy El-Sayegh In Ocula Magazine

In Ocula Advisory

Mandy El-Sayegh In Related Press

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Mandy El-Sayegh In Video & Audio

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