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Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide Ocula Conversation Sunjung Kim’s Real DMZ Project Interrogates the North and South Korea Divide

Ongoing since 2012, the Real DMZ Project interrogates the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea through annual, research-based exhibitions that bring together the works of Korean and international artists. Sunjung Kim, the independent curator behind the project, conceived the idea of exploring the DMZ while curating Japanese artist...

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Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See Ocula Report Sydney Lowdown: Exhibitions to See 6 Sep 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The fifth edition of Sydney Contemporary will take place once again at Carriageworks between 12 and 15 September 2019, with Spring 1883 bringing together a cohort of 27 galleries from across Australia and the region to inhabit rooms at the Establishment Hotel from 11 to 14 September 2019, uniquely presenting contemporary works propped up on...

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Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum Ocula Insight | Video Mark Bradford’s Call for Unity at Shanghai’s Long Museum 16 August 2019

Mark Bradford walks through Mark Bradford: Los Angeles Mark Bradford: Los Angeles at the Long Museum West Bund in Shanghai (27 July–13 October 2019) is the artist's largest solo exhibition to date in China. In this video for Ocula, Bradford and Diana Nawi, curator of the show, walk through selected works that convey the artist's concerns with...

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Mandy El-Sayegh

b. 1985, Malaysia

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.

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
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Featured Artworks

TBC - small grids by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghTBC - small grids, 2019 Oil and mixed media on linen, artist steel frame
143 x 119 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Untitled (sleepy head) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghUntitled (sleepy head), 2018 Oil and mixed media on linen with artist stainless steel frame
145 x 149 cm
Lehmann Maupin
TBC - Piece Painting (denzel) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghTBC - Piece Painting (denzel), 2019 Oil and mixed media on linen, stainless steel artist frame
225 x 150 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Unisex (Jenny) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghUnisex (Jenny), 2016 Digital print on canvas
164 x 117 x 3.5 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Earth Truth by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghEarth Truth, 2016 Digital print on canvas, paper, plastic, and Chinese ink
215 x 141 cm
Lehmann Maupin
White Grounds 10 by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghWhite Grounds 10, 2018 Oil and mixed media on linen
226 x 214 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Side Sleeper by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghSide Sleeper, 2017 'Financial Times' newspaper, India ink, pen, acrylic, correction fluid, and graphite
62 x 74 cm
Lehmann Maupin
Windows 4 by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghWindows 4, 2018 Ink on silk canvas
205.5 x 140 x 3 cm
Lehmann Maupin

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Mandy El-Sayegh, Dispersal at Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Closed
11 July–23 August 2019 Mandy El-Sayegh Dispersal Lehmann Maupin, Hong Kong
Contemporary art exhibition, Mandy El-Sayegh, MUTATIONS IN BLUE, WHITE AND RED at Lehmann Maupin, New York
Closed
8 November–22 December 2018 Mandy El-Sayegh MUTATIONS IN BLUE, WHITE AND RED Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York

Represented By

In Ocula Magazine

Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity

Moving across installation, painting, drawing, and writing, Malaysia-born and London-based artist Mandy El-Sayegh explores the political, social, and economic complexities of humanity, using a mosaic of information—from advertising slogans and pornographic imagery to newspaper articles—that she subjects to processes of layering,...

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In Related Press

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Mandy El-Sayegh Related Press Mandy El-Sayegh Artomity : 14 August 2019

Somewhere between dizzying grids, newspaper clippings and a xeroxed copy of a page from a Chinese colouring book is Mandy El-Sayegh's subjectivity. Or was: as the artist says, her subjectivity is a process.'I view myself as someone who is always changing. It [one's subjectivity] depends on different moments in time. If you accept that as you are...

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25 QUESTIONS WITH MANDY EL SAYEGH Related Press 25 QUESTIONS WITH MANDY EL SAYEGH CURA. : 1 August 2019

1) Hoarding or collecting?More hoarding—I see collecting as a controlled, conscious, more discerning thing. That's not to say that what I accumulate doesn't have its specificities, more that they are not completely known to me.2) What do you hoard?For instance, a certain texture of a sweet wrapper while I'm eating it will announce itself,...

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Cite Your Sources: Mandy El-Sayegh Related Press Cite Your Sources: Mandy El-Sayegh ArtAsiaPacific : 1 May 2019

Cite Your Sources, the title of Mandy el-Sayegh’s first solo show in the United Kingdom, presented by London’s Chisenhale Gallery, is a quote from the artist’s former tutor. It nods to the idea that a viewer’s understanding of an artwork is contingent on a multitude of influences, just as it is for the creator, and this meaning can resist being...

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Critics’ Picks: Mandy El-Sayegh Related Press Critics’ Picks: Mandy El-Sayegh Artforum : 1 May 2019

Cite Your Sources, directs Mandy El-Sayegh’s first institutional solo show in London. Okay. Eva Hesse, Robert Rauschenberg, Alberto Burri, the canonical history might ring, as you take in the artist’s Net-Grid (2018–2019), paintings, with their rough and layered surfaces. Joseph Beuys or Philip Guston turned 3-D, you might think, peering into a...

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In Video & Audio

Mandy El-Sayegh Related Video & Audio Mandy El-Sayegh Chisenhale Gallery : 10 June 2019

Mandy El-Sayegh is joined in conversation with Jennifer Higgie, Editorial Director, Frieze.

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Max Mara Art Prize for Women | 7th Edition | The Shorlist: Mandy El-Sayegh Related Video & Audio Max Mara Art Prize for Women | 7th Edition | The Shorlist: Mandy El-Sayegh Whitechapel Gallery : 16 October 2017

Meet the shortlist for the 7th edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women.The Max Mara Art Prize for Women is a collaboration between Max Mara, Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti. Established in 2005, the aim of the Prize is to promote and support UK-based female artists.

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