Samir Sammoun

SAMIR SAMMOUN — Samir Sammoun was born in a quaint Lebanese village perched atop the Chouf Mountain, 40 km south of Beirut. To this day, the artist vividly recalls the colourful Mediterranean landscape of his childhood.

Samir Sammoun immigrated from Lebanon to Canada at age 21 where he obtained degrees in electronic engineering and telecommunications. Since graduation, he has pursued his professional career as well as his passion, painting. Chris Klimantiris, who began representing Samir Sammoun in 1996, provides an eloquent reaction to the artist’s work. “The first time that I saw Samir’s paintings, I was fascinated by his refined technique. I felt like a time traveler, transported to turn-of-the-century Paris and the Impressionists.”
Samir Sammoun does have a unique postimpressionist style and technique. A great colorist by nature, he has a very rich palette of up to 30 tones and shades. He uses soft, round brushes and works mainly on rough jute and linen canvas, strong material that is capable of holding the generous amount of oil colors that Samir uses to create a backdrop.

When starting to paint, Sammoun carefully prepares his canvas with burnt sienna, which he applies with a pig-bristle brush then wipes with a rag to remove any excess. His goal is to have the grain of the canvas show. This technique is used to create the illusion of light emanating from inside the painting.
Layers of paint give a natural texture to the canvas. The artist’s technique, successive voluntary strokes, generates a certain relief and variation in the shades.

A landscape artist, Samir Sammoun has a vast repertoire of pictorial themes, e.g. willows, apple trees in bloom, wheat fields, olive trees, villages, storms, churchyards and streetscapes. His paintings reflect a tranquil happy mood. This is the art of a man who loves life. As the artist puts it, “I try to make the person looking at my painting feel the color of the sky, the temperature of the air, and the breeze in the apple trees or the wheat stalks.”

Sammoun’s art should be viewed from a distance of a few feet. At first glance, his paintings seem blurred. Only when the viewer is at the right distance does the depth of the relief and scene appear in three dimensions. Sammoun almost never uses classical perspective. His initial sketch resembles a few blotches that outline shadows and basic reference points in the scene that he has already turned over many times in his mind. The work is then carried out in the ‘automatist’ style that relies on the number of strokes previously applied. The final result comes only at the end when the layers of light are placed in the appropriate places according to the texture generated.

Sammoun’s subtle touch appears in his ‘wheat fields’ series. Here the rhythmic gesture of the artist combines grace and spontaneity. The delicate touches highlight the slender stalks and the tufts heavy with grain. The artist knows instinctively where the impact should be in the painting. “At times, it is the canvas that seems to evolve on its own. It is through this process that I feel I am playing with the fate of my renderings on the canvas. And it is from this inspiration that I feel I am the one to harness the fate of what is to follow.”

In Permanent Gallery Representation:

• J.R. Mooney Galleries, San Antonio, Texas
• Chasen Galleries, Richmond, Virginia
• Atagraphix Art Gallery, West Lake Village, California
• Off The Wal Gallery, Houston
• West Coast Gallery, Whistler, BC, Canada
• Gallerie d’Orsay, Boston, Massachusetts
• Canadian Heritage Gallery Toronto, Ontario, Canada
• Onessimo Fine Art Galleries, West Palm Beach Garden, FL

Mentioned in:
• Fine Art Magazine, Samir Sammoun in Montreal, Channeling Van Gogh, Enjoying the Party, Victor Forbes, Winter 2006
• Fine Art Magazine, Samir Sammoun Fields of Faith, Groves of Gratitude, Victor Forbes, Spring 2004
• Fine Art Magazine, Samir Sammoun Walking with Giants, Victor Forbes, Spring 2003
• MAGAZIN’ART, October 2000, Samir Sammoun a Class Act, Samir Sammoun Artiste Peintre de Grande Classe
• Bibliothèque Nationale du Québec
• National Library of Canada
• Samir Sammoun, Artiste Peintre de classe internationale, Pierre H. Savignac, 1996

Honours, Awards :
• Fine Art Magazine, Samir Sammoun 1,000 Years of Peace, Painting Champ de moutarde, selected for front cover, Spring 2004
• Received by the President of Lebanon, His Excellency Emil Lahoud, in the Presidential Palace in Baabda. Donated painting, Olive Grove, to hang in the Palace.
• Palm Spring, 2003, Champ de moutarde selected for back cover
• Decor Expo Atlanta, 2002, Painting Champ de blé selected for front cover
• Invited Artist: Live Art Auction, Mountain Lake PBS television, Plasttsburgh, New York, April 2002
• Invited Artist: Commissioned Painting, National Assembly Portrait, gift to the Québec Governement
• Invited Artist: Les Ailes de la Mode, Maison des Rêves concours, 2001
• Invited Artist: Commissioned Painting, St-Joseph Oratory Website, 1998
• Invited Artist: St-Joseph Oratory Calender 1998, Cover Page, Montréal
• Invited Artist: book cover, Public Health Departement, Government of Québec, April 1997
• Honoured Invited Artist, Caza, Longueuil, Montréal, Québec, 1999
• Honourable Mention, Concours 100 peintres, Montréal, 1992
Media Coverage:
• Mountain Lake PBS, Landscape Escape, USA 2003, 2004, 2005
• Lebanese Media, Reportage on visit to the Lebanese President
• LBC Television 2003
• La maison des rêves, Les Ailes de la Mode, éditions 2001, 2002, 2003
• Magazine Immaginaire, May 1999, Samir Sammoun l’art de nous imprégner des atmosphères hyper-impressioniste
• TVQ, Montréal Télévision Quatre Saison, Maison des rêves, Les Ailes de la Mode, 2001
• CBC Canada 2005, 5 sur 5
• The Montreal Gazette, website, St-Joseph Oratory, 1997
• Lebanese Television, 1997, Coverage of solo exhibition at Klimantiris Gallery
• Lebanese Television, 1994, Coverage of solo exhibition at Centre d’art Morency
Corporate & Public Collections:
• Government of Quebec, Office of the Premier, Quebec City, Québec
• Presidential Palace, Beyrouth, Lebanon
• City of Plattsburgh, New York, Office of the Mayor
• St-Joseph Oratory Museum, Montréal, Québec
• Lebanese Order of Engineers
• Vidéotron, second largest cable company in Canada
• Ayerst Laboratories, Montréal, Québec
• Metropolitain Orchestra, Montréal, Québec
• Novartis Pharma Canada Inc, Montréal, Québec
• Swaby Ogilvy Renault, Montréal, Québec
• Delta Hotel, Montréal, Québec
• IBM, Montréal, Québec
• Coca Cola Mexico

Also in private collections in the United States, Canada, France, and England