Iraqi-American artist Ahmed Alsoudani’s colorful jumbled canvases at Haunch of Venison in many ways echo the strong influences national crisis displayed in the concurrent exhibition of Japanese artist Mr. at Lehmann Maupin with each artist creating works of piled up displaced objects. The press release states,
Alsoudani grew up in Baghdad and during The Persian Gulf War escaped to Syria before obtaining asylum in the United States. Though the painting’s content is influenced by the artist’s experience of witnessing unimaginable violence, they evoke a shared understanding of conflict through universal imagery. His intense surrealist subject matter illustrates a collective notion of human suffering, featuring bestial figures, conjoined and disfigured amoeba and flayed skin in vivid tones. Alsoudani merges drawing and painting by first working with charcoal on canvas before applying oil or acrylic to build up the thickness of the canvas. His work is deeply rooted in Western art, with his visual vocabulary referencing artists from Caravaggio to Carroll Dunham.
Rather than Caravaggio and Dunham, I see heavy influences from Philip Guston with his trademark piles of pipes, objects, and body parts to which Alsoudani adds a rich color palette and increased focus.
Ahmed Alsoudani 2012 October 4 – November 3 at Haunch of Venison
Photos: Sujin Lee