Art And Culture

Investigating the Infinite

Investigating the Infinite Investigating the Infinite

American-based Iranian artist Kamran Youssefzadeh, nicknamed Y.Z. Kami, has put his works on exhibition at Leila Heller Gallery in Dubai.

Composed of portrait and abstract swirling paintings and installations, the collection is a look beyond materiality, which is realized in the gallery’s three exhibition spaces. The series portray the artist’s transcendental mentality with paintings, works on paper, and a sculptural intervention, Persian art magazine ‘Tandis’ reports.

Kami’s oeuvre represents an investigation on the infinite.  The minimalist abstraction of the artist’s ‘Dome’ series deeply relates the possibility of the infinite or spiritual transcendence, said the artist.

One of the installations shows an orbital structure made of bricks.  It is a sculptural presentation of uniformly sized bricks; in the central position, on one side is a White Dome, composed in ink and acrylic on raw linen, and facing it is the vast expanse of incantation, Black Dome, composed in gesso, also on raw linen, said the artist.

“Each work employs a circular structure originally derived from my earlier ‘Endless Prayers’ series of works on paper, evoking Arabic and Persian prayers,” Kami said.

Explaining the association between collection title and works, the artist said: “In the act of transformation as a journey toward light, the whole process requires purification, and the journey is not possible without passing through a phase which I prefer to call ‘nigredo’ (a term in alchemy meaning putrefaction). You cannot go toward the light without first passing through darkness, or the ‘dark night of the soul.’ The Black Domes are that moment.”

Kami, 60, is an Iranian painter based in New York City. He is known for referencing core concepts of different religious faiths and philosophies in his artworks. Though the subjects in his oeuvre span from painted portraits and devotional subject matter to abstract domes and architectural elements, the artist continually returns to themes of introspection, subjectivity and contemplation.

Formally, Kami is in dialogue with sources as diverse as religious texts, documentary photography, minimalism and contemporary portraiture. Kami has worked in a variety of media including collage, photography, installation and sculpture, though he is mainly regarded as a painter. It was his large-scale portraits that first gained him acclaim from the international art world, leading to receptions of his artworks in various important exhibitions and biennials.