Coming to Fruition is the first solo exhibition in the United States by Miami-based artist Jason Seife.
Like so many Miamians, Seife is the son of immigrants, in this case of Cuban and Syrian descent. His art revolves around his Middle Eastern heritage, with references to Persian carpets and the intricate visual elements of mosques and traditional Islamic art. He designs his compositions digitally and associate motifs and colors with moods and emotions, evoking traditional rug weavers who associate designs and colors with specific places and communities. He then hand-paints his complex patterns on canvas or concrete slabs.
In Coming to Fruition, Seife presents his elaborate process in medias res: in full action. This in-situ exhibition creates the effect of blurring the boundaries between artistic process and final product. The dynamics of "process as product" are evident in two triptychs that reveal the progress of the paintings from the initial stages, when there is barely any color in the concrete, to the intricate final product. The symbols Seife incorporates into the compositions allude to his two heritages, Syrian and Cuban. The triptychs, accompanied by a completed painting on canvas, are surrounded by labyrinthine wooden frames. The wood seems to slide from the paintings to the wall, as if taking over the interior of the gallery. Made for this particular space, the frames are reminiscent of the elaborately carved ornamentation of ancient mosques. The overall effect of the paintings and their frames on the walls recalls a phenomenon common to Cuba and Syria: beautifully painted buildings that have been reduced to carcasses of wood and concrete by war or neglect. It is in this way that Coming to Fruition's specific location allows Seife to offer us a secular sanctuary in which to meditate on themes such as the desecration of places, the creation of communities, and the complexities of identity.
Seife has presented solo exhibitions at Tabari Artspace, Dubai; Museo Carlo Bilotti, Rome; Unit London, London; Sharjah Art Museum, United Arab Emirates; Montoro12 Gallery, Brussels; and The Outsiders, Newcastle, United Kingdom. He has also participated in group exhibitions at venues such as Unit London, 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 in numerous public and private collections, including Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Indiana; Mosaic Art Foundation, Istanbul; Goss-Michael Foundation, Dallas; Dean Collection, Los Angeles; Contemporary Art Platform Kuwait; and Tribal Art Foundation, Raipur, India.