Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed, Licking Forward Tangerine

22 May - 22 Jun, 2015

Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed, Foster, 2014, Oil on canvas, 174 cm x 230 cm

Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed, Laureate, 2014, Oil on canvas, 174 cm x 230 cm

Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed, Critic, 2014, Oil on canvas, 174 cm x 230 cm

noshowspace is pleased to present Licking Forward Tangerine, a solo exhibition of new paintings including a site-specific floor installation by Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed.

Licking Forward Tangerine is an installation of paintings each characterised by a pair of black vertical lines on largely bare canvas. The line markings are lightly applied in oil paint often in a single wide stroke, providing a decisive vertical division of space that also acts as a double central axis for movement. Colour is introduced in additional shorter lines that appear to branch or swing out from the central axes, accompanied by flat white arc shapes that follow their line of motion. It is this logic and sense of automation that simultaneously defines and negates the space of Syed's paintings.

The coloured markings, painted to resemble masking tape, lend a graphic quality to the structure that can be read as an animated rendering of a sign or flag semaphore signalling to the viewer with a coded rhythm of extended and flailing arms. Meanwhile the arc shapes lay one on top of the other, with the cartoon simplicity of flat perspective, one space passing into another. With a site-specific installation that covers the entire surface area of the gallery floor, Syed creates a unique viewing environment for his work, referencing the controlled and manicured landscape used for the collective urban gatherings of sport, leisure and play. The use of the artist's full Islamic birth name for the exhibition points to a possible contextual framing of the work, calling to light assumptions around the reading of culture, style and language in contemporary painting. The title of the exhibition, taken from an autocorrection play of words found on the artist's phone (and that he points out contain the same number of syllables as his full name), combine to create a sensual rhythm of sound, colour and movement. It is between this pairing and the play on spatial and graphical elements, that Syed finds and creates space to paint.


Shaan Tariq Hassan Syed (b. 1975 Toronto) lives and works in London. Syed graduated from Goldsmiths College London in 2006 with a series of paintings that grew from looking at empty concert stages. Solo exhibitions include: Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland (upcoming, 2015), Galerie Michael Janssen, Berlin (2014); Ana Cristea Gallery, NY (2014); Vous Etes Ici, Amsterdam (2013); Birch Contemporary, Toronto (2013) and group exhibitions: David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF), London (2015); Patrick De Brock Gallery, Knokke, Belgium (2013); Aspex Gallery, Portsmouth (2014); and S1 Artspace, Sheffield (2010).

A publication of Syed's ballpoint pen drawings titled GREEN APPLES, CUM SHOTS, GRAFFITI accompany the exhibition. For further information contact, +44(0)20 7613 0089 or


Arts Council England