Roya Khadjavi Projects opened Unification, Zahra Nazari’s solo exhibition at the High Line Nine Gallery in New York on May 1. Open until May 15, noon to 6 pm or by appointment at royakhadjaviprojects.com, the exhibition of acrylic paintings, sculptures, works on paper and installations features the work of Hamedan, Iran born artist Nazari’s remembrances of renowned buildings and archeological sites in one of the oldest continuously inhabited Iranian cities.
Merging abstract linear paintings and drawings with the clear lines of architecture, the lines seem to be scaffolding holding up the structure she has created from memory and imagination of buildings in Persia. Her experience shines through in the curvilinear rendition of Safavid architecture.
At Ali Qapu Palace in Isfahan, Iran where her memorialized vaulted ceiling is rendered but contemporized in abstracted, freeform curvilinear patterns. Similarly, in Futuristic Cities, Nazari depicts and merges Frank Gehry’s and Zaha Hadid’s work in her unique pastel-colored rhythmic lines.
Purples, pinks and red, recalling the colored light emanating from stained glass windows into the interior of the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (The Pink Mosque) in Shiraz, Iran seem an abstracted display of colored light.
The Unification Sculpture curves metal to form multiple cave-like structures which cast shadows on the walls. As one moves, they are encapsulated and freed in turn providing shelter but allowing free movement. Those shadows trace the viewer’s movement, recording past and present steps toward freedom.
As East meets West, the work is rhythmic and colorful, playful and architectural, providing much needed entrance into a sheltered world as we emerge from our own walls.