Mohammed Sami was born in Baghdad, Iraq, 1984. He studied drawing and painting at The Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, Iraq 2005. He immigrated to Sweden in 2007. Later, in 2015 he earned a first-class honours degree from Ulster University-Belfast school of art, Northern Ireland. He has completed his master’s degree in fine art at Goldsmiths College, London, 2018. Mohammed lives and works between London and Norrköping, Sweden. 


Mohammed Sami approaches painting as an allegorical representation against the striking image of conflict and violence. His paintings explore belated memories triggered by common everyday objects and banal, from when he immigrated to Sweden as a refugee from his native Iraq.


Rather than using the theme of trauma as a testimony to the Iraq conflict, which he witnessed first-hand, Sami deploys painting to articulate war and memory, and loss obliquely. The semi-abstract register and multi-textured paint create a nuanced relationship between the original event and its present recollection in Sami’s artworks. These often appear playful, yet traditional genres such as the still-life, internal-external spaces and landscapes acquire a strange twist, muted, and turn into uncanny illusions.


Sami applies the index and pun as delusive signifiers, as well as the historical harmonic composition, to free the painting from the need of imitating reality. Therefore, in many cases, his paintings appear to be about something else than the source of the trauma, which enables a transitive context for the viewers, and avoids being didactic. The affective nature of the paintings does not convey a concrete message. It thrusts us to an involuntary mode of critical inquiry, rather than a specific truth.

Sami’s painting challenges the typical image of suffering and provides a symptomatic perspective of conflict dynamics and its effects through a slow personal reading. His autobiographical works aim to evoke a widespread sense of loss that inhabits cultures collectively.


2018    MFA Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London, United Kingdom.

2016  BA Fine Art with First Class Honours Degree, Ulster University, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

2004   Higher Diploma in Painting and Drawing, The Institute of Fine Arts, Baghdad, Iraq.

Solo exhibitions*

2021  Patrick Heide Contemporary Art, London, UK. (forthcoming)

2013   JAMM ART Gallery, Kuwait.

2012   Dag Andersson Gallery, Norrköping, Sweden.

2006  Al Khanji Gallery, Aleppo, Syria.

2005  Alwasity Gallery, Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Baghdad, Iraq.

1999  University of Baghdad, Iraq.


Selected group exhibitions*

2020 Towner International, Towner Eastbourne Museum, UK. Stilla liv (Still life) Gallery Magnus Karlsson, Gotland, Sweden. Time-out, Patrick Heide Contemporary gallery, London, UK.

2018   Bloomberg New Contemporaries, following by Liverpool Biennial and South London Gallery. The Sea is the Limited, York Museum/ Art Gallery, York, UK. Following by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, Doha. (Qatar) 2019.

2011   The Culture Night of Norrköping City, Norrköping Art Museum, Sweden.

2010   Autumn Salon Paris, France.

2006  The Iraqi National Museum of Modern Art, Baghdad.

Public Collections*

The permanent collection of York Museum, York, UK.

The Government Art Collection, UK.

The Iraqi Ministry of Culture, Baghdad, Iraq.


2021 The Seas and the Mobility of Islamic Art, edited by Radha Dalal, Sean Roberts and Jochen Sokoly. Yale University Press.

2014/15 PRŌTOCOLLUM Global Perspectives on Visual Vocabulary (1st issue), Berline, Germany.


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