June 09, 2016

Artist Hadieh Shafie

Hadieh Shafie, Fragments 1, 2013.
According to the website of the Leila Heller Gallery, which represents the artist:

Hadieh Shafie was born in Tehran, Iran in 1969. Currently based in the United States, the artist constructs intricate designs with low-relief paper sculpture. Her compositions are reminiscent of traditional Middle Eastern art, while the artist hides hand-written and printed Farsi text within the folds of elaborate paper spirals. Both process-oriented and impossibly refined, Shafie’s skillful works are often monumental in scale, overwhelming the viewer with a visual feast of color.

I adore the swirls and the secret messages on the scrolls, which say, in Farsi, "Love" or "Love/Passion". "Fragments" above reminds me of Van Gogh's "The Starry Night". There's also something biological in the more colorful works, a petri dish or lichens in a sulfurous hot spring, or else interestingly entirely inorganic and chemical, like rust. Or I'm reminded of eye tests for color blindness, along with the obvious Arabic patterning, or textile warp and weft, or dream phosphenes swirling behind one's eyelids. Mainly, the art harkens back to libraries and data, stored information in a scroll, the beauty of books on a shelf. Was this what the racks in the lost library at Alexandria looked like before their knowledge was destroyed forever?

Hadieh Shafie, Seven Colors (Telesm Series), 2014.

Visit Hadieh Shafie's website for more information.

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