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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

Exhibition view: Mandy El-Sayegh, Protective Inscriptions, Lehmann Maupin, Seoul (20 May–17 July 2021). Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London. Photo: OnArt Studio. 

Mandy El-Sayegh Featured Artworks

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Third Body by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghThird Body, 2020Oil on silkscreened linen and collaged elements
250 x 150 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Passengers by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghPassengers, 2018Oil 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
Mandy El-Sayeghtransliterated cut script, 2021Oil and mixed media on silkscreened linen
146 x 156 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Casket Seal by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghCasket Seal, 2021Oil and mixed media on silkscreened linen
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Proofs (six) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghProofs (six), 2021Oil on silkscreened linen and collaged elements
140 x 52 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Proofs (bed division) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghProofs (bed division), 2021Oil on silkscreened linen and collaged elements
140 x 52 cm
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery
Windows 4 (to leave) by Mandy El-Sayegh contemporary artwork
Mandy El-SayeghWindows 4 (to leave), 2018Ink 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
Mandy El-Sayeghdesign for tights, 2018Oil and paper on linen with artist steel frame
102 x 115.5 cm (incl frame)
Lehmann Maupin Contact Gallery

Mandy El-Sayegh Current & Recent Exhibitions

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Contemporary art exhibition, Mandy El-Sayegh, Protective Inscriptions at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul
Open Now
20 May–17 July 2021 Mandy El-Sayegh Protective Inscriptions Lehmann MaupinSeoul
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Body Topographies at Lehmann Maupin, London
Opening Soon
16 June–4 September 2021 Group Exhibition Body Topographies Lehmann MaupinLondon
Contemporary art exhibition, Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul, Recombinance at Lehmann Maupin, 536 West 22nd Street, New York
Closed
25 February–17 April 2021 Mandy El-Sayegh & Lee Bul Recombinance Lehmann Maupin536 West 22nd Street, New York

Mandy El-Sayegh Represented By

Lehmann Maupin contemporary art gallery in 536 West 22nd Street, New York, USA Lehmann Maupin New York, Hong Kong, London, Seoul

Mandy El-Sayegh In Ocula Magazine

Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity Ocula Conversation Mandy El-Sayegh: Productive Ambiguity By Claire Shea, Hong Kong

Mandy El-Sayegh talks about the body, fragmentation, and the mutability of language in her work in this discussion with Para Site Deputy Director Claire Shea, which took place ahead of the artist's exhibition at Lehmann Maupin, Dispersal (11 July–23 August 2019).

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Mandy El-Sayegh In Related Press

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

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...

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

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...

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

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

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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Mandy El-Sayegh In Video & Audio

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

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 16 October 2017, Whitechapel Gallery

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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