Egyptian painter Hend Samir’s first solo exhibition in the U.S. presents a visceral, gloopy, oil slick world in which figures and their settings, ornaments and architectures, and actions from the domestic to the intimate, transgressive, ceremonial and absolutely ordinary are all blended together in a fever dream of manipulated memory and heavy pigment.
While the narratives in her tableaux remain accessible, the undeniable, contagious energy of the work resides in its intensely abstract physicality, in which dream logic and other impossibilities are somehow enacted and embodied within the cocoon of the familiar. In small and mural-scale works, Samir conjures the past as though from an inscrutable primordial mist that both tells and obscures her stories, depositing a geology of formative and aspirational experiences in their wake.
Real Pain, 1819 Third Ave, Arlington Heights; on view online and by appointment through March 6; free; realpain.com.
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