Jwan Yosef


oil on canvas and aluminum
72 x 54 x 4 inches

One of abstraction’s most enduring legacies is the understanding that a painting is ultimately an object — a physical thing that hangs on the wall, and not simply a picture-window onto another world. Syrian-born Swedish artist Jwan Yosef has confronted the physicality and legibility of painting in his reverse paintings on clear plexiglass — painted back to front, and displayed with the painting facing the wall. In his Object series (2014–), Yosef covers painting stretchers with crumpled down canvas, exposing the underlying structure and revealing the changeability of the canvas itself. For Yosef, these works are not just about revealing the structure of image presentation, but also about an object that lives in an in-between state, a condition the artist is all too familiar with, having grown up among multiple geographies, languages, and belief systems. Solo exhibitions of Yosef’s work have been held at DIVUS Gallery, London, and Galleri Anna Thulin, Stockholm. In 2013, he was awarded the BEERS Contemporary Award Emerging Art. Yosef is also a founding member of the not-for-profit art studio The Bomb Factory Art Foundation in Archway, North London. Yosef’s solo exhibition Come September is currently on view at The Goss-Michael Foundation through November 16.