Mandy El–Sayegh SumarSummary, 2021
El-Sayegh’s works oscillate between that which is aesthetically beautiful and harmonious, and a darker, more ominous presence. Her paintings are built on a multitude of images and fragments of text, which the artist collates to form the ground of the canvas. In this way, she highlights the personal, cultural and often violent histories that underpin the creation and consumption of artworks. Sumar Summary is the name of an artist and friend of El-Sayegh – one of many personal references in her work – and its delicate sound is echoed in the muted composition. Beauty and abjection are in tension within the work, as the peach-toned palette with hints of blue evokes both a sunset and bruised skin, and as frivolous newspaper headlines (‘Get the beers in!’) sit alongside text and imagery from a book detailing the use of incapacitant sprays by the British police.