Samiee’s work is often presented in the form of immersive, painterly installations which invite us “to witness multi-perspectivism, of paintings whose inner logic has called its elements to leave the canvas and occupy other spaces. In these works Samiee breaks the frame of the frame. And so he severs himself from conventions in order to reflect upon the act of painting itself and the future of the medium.”

His paintings show an ability to question boundaries in a restrained manner. The serious decorative power that sometimes brushes the edges of kitsch, better called camp, covers the themes that alternate from the heavy-going to more light-hearted perspectives, showing us an artist who ably manipulates multiple registers. By questioning symbols in his paintings, Sam Samiee provides an alternative to the Eurocentric world view, employing syntaxes from Persian poetry or research in theology and psychoanalysis. East meets West, not as a replacement, but as a complement to the visual humanism of Western art.

Working as a researcher his research has been delivered in forms of speeches and lecture-performances at institutions such as Asia Society Contemporary Art Week, Rijksakademie, and the Parasol Unit. Samiee is currently a painting docent at Artez Aki, Enschede, Secretary of the Tankstation Artist-Run space, Enschede and an alumnus of the Curatorial Board of W139 Artist-Run Space, Amsterdam. He has finished the two years residency at Rijksakadmie van Beeldende Kunsten in 2015 and has exhibited nationally and internationally at museums and art spaces such as Manchester Art Gallery (2014, The Sensory War, 100th Anniversary of the World War I), Berlin Biennale X (We Don’t Need Another Hero), Kunstmuseum, the Hague and his works are in the collections of Kunstmuseum, AkzoNobel Art Foundation, the High Court of Amsterdam and other public and private collections. (Text by Dastan’s Basement, excerpts from the upcoming publication Footnotes to Life and the catalogue of the Royal Painting Prize 2016)


Sam Samiee (b. 1988, Tehran, Iran) is an Iranian painter, visual artist, essayist and educator based in Amsterdam and Tehran. In his work, Samiee focuses on the practice of painting and creating exhibitions under the influence of long term research in Persian poetry and Adab (a synthesis of both ethics and aesthetics), psychoanalysis, and art history: an encounter between the Persian literary-humanistic perspective and the visual humanism of Western art history.