Presents Material Culture



Roya Khadjavi projects Presents Material Culture .


An exhibition of paintings, sculptures, sculptural paintings, and photography, featuring works by 5 Iranian Artists:
Aida Izadpanah
Dana Nehdaran
Maryam Khosrovani
Maryam Palizgir
Massy Nasser Ghandi
Curated by Roya Khadjavi

Art is language understood by most people, as images can be read without knowledge of
any special characters or glyphs. This exhibit, featuring five artists who grew up and became
artists in Iran, speaking and reading Farsi, seeing differing forms and designs in locations and
light other than they now encounter, shows the cultural symbols and signs they have created
for their new world, making art that reacts to and comments on the integration of both
cultures. Their abstract language, incorporating ancient materials, adapts to a new civilization
with the artists’ invention of new techniques, modes of expression and iconography.
In Maryam Palizgir’s photograph, Epiphany 1, standing planes of shadow and light intersect
and disturb geometric forms, presenting an illusion of collision and juxtaposition of solid and
immaterial. The solid structure of her youth collides with her new culture. Epiphany 2, in
landscape orientation recalls a slatted vertical barrier, opposing mountain-like forms
extending off the paper. With yellow sky above, the green land becomes grey, ultimately
stopped by the brown form. Straight, architectural man-made bars lead to a cold, grey 􀃶eld;
from the green landscape into the grimy city. In Palizgir’s Epiphany 3, I see a green grid in the
foreground and a yellow building in the background. There is an opening, and Palizgir doesn’t
show us what is inside. It could be a book, hiding its contents. What secrets are there, hidden
and revealed? Books and buildings are similar. Closed, they hold secrets and knowledge and
stories. This revelatory, quiet work in so many ways demonstrates the epiphany the artist titles
it. The consolations of her imagined communities, spoken of in her artist’s statement are held
in by walled structures.
In Maryam Khosrovani’s series, Imaginary Connections; plaster relief replicas of her
photographs of clothes hanging on a line, continues this sense of ephemerality. She
emphasizes, in her artist’s statement how banal objects of one’s past, here a clothesline,
trigger present memories. In this series, Khosrovani turns remembered images of those
objects into “graphic elements and visual pixels”, the alphabet of our time. A line is not real,
but merely the edge between two spaces, alluding to her division from the homeland of her
youth. Her separation from her ancestral culture and home literally hangs here from a thread,
or a remembered, now imaginary, threatened line supporting the identifying garments of her
new world. It speaks to cultural change and exchange and to the development from material.

Aida Izadpanah

Fashioned from raw blocks of earth, the hand-made, formed, carved and 􀃶red glazed
porcelain works mounted on wooden boards of my Alignment series are inspired by the
texture, color and composition of my previous large-format abstract paintings. Firing
each piece multiple times at temperatures over 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit, I sometimes
incorporate liquid 24-karat gold, which solidi􀃶es in the kiln. Porcelain clay 􀃶res to pure
white and is extremely 􀃶ne in texture, and translucent when thin, re􀃸ecting pigments,
glazes and gold so beautifully that, for thousands of years, this exquisite material has
been the most prized among ceramic arts around the world.
An ancient and essential alchemy seems to connect humans and earth. The creation
narrative of many cultures tells of being made from clay infused with spirit. Porcelain’s
anthropological history involves a number of persistent tensions: fluidityidity and fixity;
labor and luxury; desire and ful􀃶llment. In the Alignment series, I assimilate these
material and spiritual legacies while drawing on my Persian traditions in ceramic arts
and my training and extensive practice in European porcelain techniques. Each piece in
the Alignment series represents a process and product of aligning energies toward a
delicate balance.



Dana Nehdaran

I explore how the process of painting mirrors historical 􀃸ows. Whereas my
former work explored content in historical photography, I investigate the
material history of iron in this series, Fe26. Oxidation allowed the creation of
images that faded into the canvas: unstable surfaces that betrayed a deeply
personal relationship to images of the past. The current series takes this
exploration of material further.
Upon arrival in New York, I was surrounded with old iron rebar, beams, storm
water covers and other ironwork, the backbone of the city, a visual language
full of rust and beautiful imperfections. Titled Fe26, the chemical symbol and
atomic number for iron, this new body of work is created in a dialogue with
my new surroundings, a result of the mindful observation of the everyday
experience. Fe26 documents the meticulously controlled process of
oxidation, with the basic element showing both the history of the painting’s
creation and references to its larger urban context.


Maryam Khosrovani

“ Our memory of the past engraves itself onto our perception of the banal
objects we use. Seeing and recognizing their formal characteristics recalls
our forgotten feelings, largely lost over time. The effort to revive those exact
primal feelings is futile as our memory of them is blurry and imperfect.
In b In my work, I strive to reverse the banality of the objects I use by
restructuring and turning them into graphic elements and visual pixels, in a
simplistic style, not to strengthen the source of pale memories but to show
the common emotions, agitations and consolations experienced by my
imagined communities.
Close to the ground:
Close to the ground is a photography, plaster and collage project I started
four years ago upon moving to NYC. The sight of New Yorkers drawing their
clothes on drying lines outside their windows would trigger an imagination
of the life behind those windows and the people that wear those clothes.
Their life clashed with my solitude, which I resolved by blurring the lines
between the buildings in a series of plastered replicas of the photos. The
project aims to illustrate the way garment, architecture and people are bound
to one another to become one.

Maryam Palizgir

Epiphany is a moment of sudden discovery that changes you. This project is
a response to a shift in contemporary perception of real and unreal, in
physical or constructed landscapes. Vibrant color, harsh natural lighting,
painted wood panels and transparent or translucent architectural sample
material was installed to expose the moment of mental realism. I want to
question how urban architecture can have a phenomenological effect and to
what extent the presence of a body in space can change our way of
contemplating real and unreal. The scenography brings out the viewer’s
curiosity and desire to 􀃶nd out how the illusion of space was created.

Massy Nasser Ghandi

I have been living in Nice for eighteen years now. Eighteen years of
fascinating sunsets over the sea, glimpsed from my terrace, up there in the
hilly part of the city. The layers of colours create several pictures rather than
just one. Porcelain proves a wonderful canvas to recreate the liquid beauty of
the sun, a dramatic sky en􀃸amed by sunset piercing through or even the
crystal quality of sea foam.

Date: April 4 – April 18, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, April 4, 6 to 8 PM
Press and VIP: Thursday April 4, 5 to 6 pm
Opening Hours: 12 to 6 pm or by appointment
Place: Elga Wimmer PCC – 526 West 26Th Street,
3 rd floor #310 – New York, NY, 10001
For Sales and Press Contact: roya.khadjavi@gmail.com
www.royakhadjaviprojects.com

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