Art And Culture

Portraits of the Earth at NY Gallery

Portraits of the Earth at NY GalleryPortraits of the Earth at NY Gallery

A joint exhibition by two Iranian artists is underway at Leila Heller Art Gallery in New York.

The collaborative project, titled ‘The Cold Earth Sleeps Below’, shows eleven unique works of filmmaker Shoja Azari and painter Shahram Karimi, through video painting, the Persian art magazine ‘Tandis’ reported.

Video painting is a form of video art presented via projectors, LCD or other flat panel display and wall-mounted in the same manner as traditional paintings.

The video-painting movement began with English post-realist philosopher, Hilary Lawson’s theory of ‘Closure’ (published 2001), in which he proposed that the world is open and that “we close that openness with thought and language.” He reinterpreted art as the attempt to avoid closure and approach openness.

The exhibited items portray and explore humanity’s relations with the natural landscape, said Azari, adding: “The exhibition takes its title from the work of English poet Percy Shelley. We seek to revisit the contemporary relevance of the paradoxical notion of beauty and the sublime that the Romantics (an artistic, literary and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century) fought to free from the clutches of utilitarian materialism and egoism”.

 New Media Themes

Shoja Azari, 58, is an Iranian origin filmmaker, who utilizes new media and film in themes such as gender, politics and intercultural prejudice.

Azari’s work includes a series of short films, ‘Windows’ (2005), which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. His film ‘Women Without Men’, co-directed with his wife, Shirin Nashat, won the Silver Lion for best director at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. His work has featured at numerous international events, including the Citee Internationale des Arts, Paris (2012).

Shahram Karimi, 59, both painter and poet, employs an evocation of nostalgia to explore the dilemma of a bicultural Iranian subject, combining his personal memories with a contemporary form.

Karimi’s solo exhibitions include the Museum Sieburg, Germany (1998 and 2010) and Leo Castelli Gallery, New York (2008). He has participated in group-exhibitions at Chelsea Museum of Art, New York (2009), the Iranian Cultural Center, Los Angeles (2003), and the Istanbul Biennial (2003).

The exhibition will run through March 26.