Salah Elmur (Sudanese born, 1966)
Haras Ros, 2019
Signed ‘S.ELMUR.2019’ (lower left)
Acrylic on canvas
49.2 x 49.7 cm
Ksh 380,000 – 550,000
(US$) 3,500 – 5,000
Provenance: Direct from the artist
Sold Ksh 868,760
Salah Elmur’s work is composed of a fertile visual vocabulary that draws on his observations of life, returning to childhood and youth for the scenes, situations, and impressions that he depicts in his work. Heavy symbolism, a tendency towards vivid colour combinations, and distortion of natural figures and proportions are some of the markers of Elmur’s painting.
Inspired by the many photographs he has collected from his family’s photography studio, Elmur’s paintings emulate formal portrait settings with additional elements that complement but also unsettle the mood in his paintings. Plants and animals share the frame with the human subjects, limbs are shortened and proportions are distorted, altering the relationships between various objects and figures in the frame. All these elements are combined in a somewhat surrealistic swirl of memory, and the resulting paintings are tender, intimate vignettes of human relationships.
Salah Elmur originally studied Graphic Design at the College of Fine and Applied Art, Sudan University, Khartoum. With a career spanning three decades, he has participated in group and solo exhibitions in East Africa, the Middle East, Europe and America since 1985. Elmur has also published 12 children’s books and is a successful filmmaker; directing six short documentaries and fantasy films, which have been shown at international film festivals. In February 2018, the Sharjah Art Museum in the UAE held Fragrances of the Forest and Photos, a retrospective of Elmur’s work, followed by Forests and Spirits, an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery in London alongside two luminaries of Sudanese modernism, Kamala Ishaaq, and Ibrahim El Salahi. He participated in a group exhibition at the British National Museum and his work is collected widely and is included in the permanent collection of the Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden (MACAAL) in Marrakech and the Sharjah Art Foundation (SAF).