Art Exhibition—“Jason Seife: Coming to Fruition”

Jason Seife’s “Coming to Fruition,” organized by assistant curator Maritza Lacayo, opens at the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) on May 18, 2023.

Seife, like many Miamians, is the son of immigrants, in his case of Cuban and Syrian descent. His art practice centers on his Middle Eastern heritage, referencing Persian carpets and the intricate details found in mosques and traditional Islamic art. He digitally designs his carpet-inspired compositions, mirroring weavers’ practice of associating patterns or colors with specific locations and communities. Seife subsequently hand-paints these intricate patterns onto a concrete slab or canvas.

For Coming to Fruition, Seife presents his elaborate process in medias res––amid the action. The effect created by this site-specific exhibition is thus one in which the boundary between artistic process and finished product is blurred. The process-as-product dynamic is evident in two triptychs that reveal the progression of his paintings—from initial stages and minimal paint on the concrete to intricately painted finished product. The symbols Seife incorporates into the paintings’ designs allude to both his Syrian and Cuban backgrounds. The triptychs, accompanied by an additional finished painting on canvas, are surrounded by labyrinthine wood frames. The wood appears to seep out of the paintings and onto the walls, as if taking over the gallery’s interior. The frames recall intricately carved mosque ornamentation and have been made specifically for this exhibition and gallery space. The overall effect of wooden frames and paintings on the concrete walls recalls a phenomenon common to both Cuba and Syria: beautifully painted buildings that have been reduced by war or neglect to their wood and concrete shells. The site-specificity of Coming to Fruition thus allows Seife to present a secular sanctuary wherein the visitor can meditate on human desecration, community-building, and complicated identities.

Seife has presented solo exhibitions at Tabari Artspace, Dubai; Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome; Unit London; Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates; Montoro12 Gallery, Brussels; and the Outsiders, Newcastle, United Kingdom. His work has been included in a number of group exhibitions, including those at Unit London; Joshua Liner Gallery, New York; Leila Heller Gallery, Dubai; Bedford Art Center, Lesher Center for the Arts, Walnut Creek, California; Montoro12 Gallery; Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco; and Peveto Gallery, Houston. His work is included in numerous public and private collections, including Fort Wayne Museum of Art; Mosaic Art Foundation, Istanbul; Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas; Dean Collection, Los Angeles; Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait; and Tribal Art Foundation, Raipur, India.

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