"It is it, and it is only now...: In Memory of Farideh Lashai" Exhibition

Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art, L.L.C.

poster for "It is it, and it is only now...: In Memory of Farideh Lashai" Exhibition

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Edward Tyler Nahem Fine Art (ETNFA) and Leila Heller Gallery are pleased to present two posthumous New York exhibitions celebrating the life and career of internationally renowned, recently deceased, Iranian artist Farideh Lashai (1944 – 2013). On view, from April 3 to May 7, at ETNFA will be works such as El Amal, 2011-2012, Le Dejeuner au Park-e-Mellat, 2007-2011, among others. An extended version of Lashai’s work Rabbit in Wonderland, 2010, will be on view at Leila Heller Gallery from April 4 to May 2. A joint-gallery catalogue, featuring an essay by Negar Azimi, Senior Editor of Bidoun magazine, will be published to accompany the exhibitions.

For over four decades, Lashai exhibited internationally in numerous solo and group exhibitions, with an expansive practice that ranged from crystal design for Riedel, Austria, and Studio Rosenthal, Selb, in her early career, to a lifelong devotion to painting and mixed media that knew no boundaries. Through her dynamic work, she created a compelling Iranian aesthetic in contemporary Middle Eastern art, inspiring artists at home and abroad. Throughout her career, Lashai captivated viewers with works that inhabit an ephemeral reality akin to the actual shifts of events through time and space. Through the amalgamated use of layered mediums such as video, painting, and sound, she brought to life transient movements of iconic figures and other characters projected upon striking paintings of nature, evoking a compelling sense of nostalgia and loss. Lashai’s search for meaning in identity and self are revealed through a personal journey of navigating through the competing dissonant political and intellectual struggles present in her homeland.

The main gallery at ETNFA will feature two large connected works of art with projected animation and sound. El Amal (2011) inspired by the Arab Spring and the Egyptian revolt, is a projection in which Charlie Chaplin appears in a scene of "The Great Dictator." The face of Oum Kolthum, the Grande Dame of Arab music, rises on top of the painting, majestic as a moon with her renowned emerald earrings hanging. The eyes of the singer are closed, as if she is ignoring the minuscule dictator under her watch, dancing in excitement to the tune of her song "El Amal", meaning “hope” and “desire” in Arabic.

This work is directly related to the second installation on view, "When I Count, There Are Only You.. But When I Look, There Is Only a Shadow," (2013) which features 80 photo-intaglio prints taken from Goya’s "The Disasters of War" series of 82 etchings from which all of the violent figures and actions have been removed, leaving only Goya’s backgrounds from each scene. These are then illuminated by a floating ball of light from El Amal. The work evokes a sensation of reminiscence of violence and atrocity, a horrific event in a specific location (Spain’s invasion by the French), long past the event and yet universally understandable by those who have experienced war or other forms of violence. In this work, the recognizable backgrounds of Goya’s etchings perpetuate cultural memory even as the actors upon it change or disappear.

[Image: Farideh Lashai "Dear, Dear, How Queer Everything is Today" (2010) painting with projected animation and sound, oil, acrylic and pencil on canvas, 5 minutes, 40 seconds, 78.8 x 39.5 in / 200 x 100 cm, Edition of 6, 1 AP, Unique painting]



from April 03, 2013 to May 08, 2013


Farideh Lashai

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