Latino Art Museum

Graciela Horne Nardi, President & Founder
Pomona, California, USA


One hundred years ago, the works of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters Claude Monet, Camille Pissaro and Vincent Van Gogh served as emblems of newly emergent Modern Art. It was against this backdrop landscape painting that the more radical sects of Modernist painters strove to achieve, what Robert Hughes called, the shock of the new. However, some of the key features of that foundational tradition remain in active service to comtemporary painters, and this is certainly true in the works of Samir Sammoun. His use of the civilized landscape as subject, broken brush technique, aggressive use of color and overriding concern for light and atmosphere, function as tell-tale signs of this legacy.

Like his predecessors, Sammoun is not attempting to transcribe the facts of nature or the architectural forms that appear in it, but rather to record the sensation of apprehension of them through vivid but balanced colors and short, urgent gestures of application. Sometimes these movements are dictated by the objects they describe, brush strokes that follow the contour of a tree trunk with deft precision, other times they cut loose into swirling passages of pure paint. This is particularly true in his handling of the sky, and it is the strong presence of texture and technique, color and composition that charge the paintings with an experience of vibrancy.

Monet once explained to the American painter, Lilla Cabot Perry: When you go out to paint, try to forget what objects you have before you merely think, here is a little square of blue, here an oblong of pink, here a streak of yellow, and paint it just as it looks to you until it gives you your own naïve impression of the scene before you.