Sherman Sam’s small abstract paintings and drawings allude to a sense of nature and reverie, yet ultimately prefer to remain as artworks, resistant to narrative. Generally no taller than 50 centimetres, Sam’s paintings begin on wood panels. Layers of paint are applied, in a mix of colours and textures. The resulting composition is not unlike a musical score; it is polyphonic, and echos beyond its frame. His drawings, slightly larger and with layered lines on irregularly shaped paper, are typically shown taped to the wall in the plastic sleeves in which they were shipped. As much as Sam’s drawing concerns the ontological nature of drawing, it is sourced within the nature of abstraction and often uses the language of drawing as a point of departure. His work possesses a searching, offhand quality that generates pictorial space while recovering memory and experience, presenting the image as refreshingly incomplete.
Born in Singapore in 1966, Sam has studied at Parson-in-Paris, Paris, and the Otis Art Institute of the Parsons School of Design, Los Angeles. He earned his BFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991 and a Master of Letters in History of Art from the University of Oxford in 1997. His work was featured at Annka Kultys Gallery’s 2015 group show Desire of the Other, along with Theaster Gates, Oscar Murillo and Danh Vo. In 2016, his first solo show, Together We’re Heavy, was Annka Kultys Gallery’s second exhibition with the artist.
Sherman Sam was nominated for the 2017 Sovereign Asian Art Prize in Hong Kong – Asia’s most esteemed contemporary art prize.
Sam’s work has been exhibited internationally, with solo shows at: Annka Kultys Gallery, London; Some Walls, Oakland; Rubicon Gallery, Dublin; The Suburban, Chicago; Centro de Arte S Joao da Madeira, S Joao da Madeira, Portugal; and the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, Oxford. He has also participated in several group exhibitions at: Annka Kultys Gallery, London; Feature, Inc., New York; Janet Kurnatowski Gallery, Brooklyn; The Drawing Room, London; Sue Scott Gallery, New York; Kunsthalle Centro Cultural Andratx, Majorca; and Model Arts and Niland Gallery, Sligo, Ireland.
Traction magazine, review by Charlotte Bernrd
24 February 2017
MyTempleArt, interview of Annka Kultys by Maria Teresa Ortoleva about ‘Desire of the Other’
13 November 2015
Hyperallergic, interview by Rob Colvin
9 February 2015
Art Radar, review by Kriti Bajaj
Ocula, interview by Tony Godfrey
The Irish Times, review by Aidan Dunne
The Brooklin Rail, review by Noah Dillon
The Sunday Times, review by Kate Butler
19 April 2009
Herald, review by Sue Conley
10 April 2009
ArtReveiw Magazine, review by Luke Clancy
Artforum, review by Barry Schwabsky
SHERMAN SAM | TOGETHER WE’VE HEAVY
17 NOVEMBER – 17 DECEMBER 2016
(Harold Ancart, Adrian Ghenie, Oscar Murillo, Theaster Gates, Danh Vo, …)