Zeinab Saleh (born 1996, Kenya) is a London-based artist who received a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Saleh’s practice takes the form of painting, drawing, video, sculpture and publishing; with these various working methods and materials sharing a fluid exchange.
Saleh’s paintings are often prompted by encounters with video. These source videos are drawn from the artist’s own recordings as well as an extensive family archive. Saleh works from stills to isolate details within a frame, extracting line, gesture and atmosphere and translating these qualities from a moving format to a static one. Saleh lifts selected moments from their context and relocates their subtle operations onto the surface of her paintings. In doing so, she takes advantage of the enigmatic potential of these floating forms.
Beyond this interplay between video and painting, Saleh’s work more broadly pursues sensorial glimpses and fleeting impressions. She submits to the cultural specificity of the material she draws from while resisting the trap of aestheticizing or orientalizing these visual cues. Eyes appear across several of her paintings, asserting painting as a medium that is catalyzed by a perspective position and then, in turn, produces a new one.
Text by Olivia Barrett
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