Born in Iran, Farmanfarmaian, 94, spent her formative years, between 1945 and 1957, amidst the New York art scene, a time marked by friendship with fellow artists such as Frank Stella and Andy Warhol, before returning to Iran.
Although she spent much of her early years in New York immersed in the world of abstract-expressionism and pop art, her signature works, which take the form of mirrored sculptures (often kaleidoscopic) and paintings, remained uniquely rooted in Middle Eastern artistic tradition, with an emphasis on repeating patterns and geometry, rather than figurative subjects.
In 1957, Farmanfarmaian returned to Iran and began a journey across the country to further expand her artistic horizons. She met with craftspeople and Persian art makers from diverse disciplines, including indigenous jewelry and apparel makers, and traditional weavers of fine Persian rugs. During this period she created numerous precious artworks that gave her worldwide acclaim as she held exhibitions in Iran, Europe and the US.
According to the Irish museum website, the upcoming exhibit (Aug. 10-Nov. 25) reflects a life between the two cultures, across histories of the East and West encompassing a multitude of artistic genres ranging from paintings, sculpture, jewelry and tapestries to collages, works on paper and poetry. Sunset, Sunrise is the largest exhibition of Farmanfarmaian’s work to date and her first solo exhibition in Ireland.
“Irish and Iranians share a love of poetry in their cultures. My poetry is in my art, and I am honored to share it in this exhibition,” she says.
The exhibit has been named after two 2015 mirror works of the artist included in the show. Sunset, Sunrise invokes the sky that both separates and connects the East and West; a moment of dawn and dusk that captures the elusive, emotive quality of life.
As one of the great female pioneers in art, Farmanfarmaian can be set alongside the 20th century innovators such as American-Lebanese poet and artist Etel Adnan, Italian artist Carol Rama and Swedish artist Hilma af Klint.
The exhibition is set to travel to Sharjah Art Foundation in the UAE next year.
Source: Financial Tribune