The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Friday, June 22, 2018

Six New Video Works by Shoja Azari at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery
Shoja Azari, Coffee House Painting (2009). Video Projection on Canvas. Courtesy the artist and Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller (LTMH) Gallery, New

NEW YORK, NY.- Video work by artist and filmmaker Shoja Azari will be on view at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller (LTMH) Gallery from May 4 though 27, 2010. SHOJA AZARI: ICONS, the artist’s first solo exhibition in New York City, will feature six new video works, which examine the role of saints and heroes in modern society. A fully illustrated catalogue with essays by Sam Bardaouil, Dr. Hamid Dabashi, and Benjamin Genocchio will accompany the exhibition.

In the early 20th century, coffee house-style painting flourished in Iran. Based on Persian mythology, the large paintings depicted the heat of battle, the afterlife and martyrdom, truth and justice, and the apocalypse. The paintings expressed respect for religious and traditional beliefs and served as a backdrop for entertainment in the coffee houses of Iran as storytellers would act out the epic scenes depicted in the paintings. Azari has appropriated coffee house painter Modabber’s, The Day of the Last Judgment, a painting dense with imagery and symbolism, and transformed it into a video work projected onto a black canvas, Coffee House Painting, 2009, infused with images of today’s saints and sinners.

In his catalogue essay, Hamid Dabashi, Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University, writes, “Shoja Azari’s invitation is initially innocuous, familiar, and homely. Then things begin to happen. Pictures begin to move, images start morphing and altering into and out of each other. Wars and mayhems begin to change time, space, history, sides. We are on a move—towards the unfamiliar that is (alas) only too familiar, unhomely that is homely.”

The Icons series, 2010, is comprised of five video works and five photographs on light boxes that appropriate popular posters of saints in Iran. Inspired by how Renaissance painters humanized religious figures, Azari seeks to make icons resonate in a new way.

Dabashi goes on to write, “The raped, burned, and murdered body of Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, the 14-year-old Iraqi who was gang-raped on 12 March 2006 by the US soldiers from the 502nd Infantry Regiment, was the site of a violation infinitely more sacred than a picture of a saint or an Imam. What is happening to these icons in Shoja Azari’s work is in fact entirely in the opposite direction—a cry of defiance, the iconography of a revolt against the obscenity of violence done in the name of or against those who hold these picture sacred. He does not so much de-iconicize them, as he in fact re-signifies them for a new generation of aesthetic, emotive, and political registers.”

Sam Bardaouil, an independent curator, notes in his catalogue essay: “Shoja continues on his own odyssey to create work that elates one’s perception of the incomprehensible and infinite through the most simple and mundane, and at the end of the day offers us a glimpse into an iconic world where love, not justice, prevails.”

As Benjamin Genocchio, editor in chief, Art and Auction magazine, and former New York Times art critic, sums up in the catalogue, “The English word revolution derives from the Latin revolutio, which means "turn around." That’s pretty much what Shoja does, his versatility and imagination transforming ideas, concepts, images and media so that we see them and the world about face. His ambition is no less than to change art and life.”

Iranian-born Shoja Azari has lived in New York City since 1983. His films and video installations have been screened and exhibited widely around the world. Most recently, his video work has been seen in solo gallery exhibitions in London; Turin, Italy; and Kln, Germany, and at art fairs including Art Basel, Switzerland, and ARCO, Madrid.

Since 1997, he has collaborated with Shirin Neshat on film and video installations including Women Without Men, which won the Silver Lion for best director at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. He has also collaborated with Shahram Karimi on video paintings, which project video on painted surfaces.

Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller (LTMH) Gallery | Shoja Azari | Hamid Dabashi |

Today's News

May 5, 2010

Picasso Sells at Christie's for $106.5 Million, a Record for a Work of Art Sold at Auction

Four Nominees Announced to Compete for Britain's Turner Prize

Monet Masterpiece Donated to the National Gallery of Canada

Masterwork by Yves Klein to Be Sold at Sotheby's in London

Martin Bethenod Named Director of Palazzo Grassi-Punta della Dogana

Christie's to Offer the Forbes Collection of Winston Churchill Letters and Books

French Parliament Approves Return of Sixteen Maori Heads

Jennifer Flay Appointed General Director of FIAC Art Fair

Van Gogh Masterpiece Travels to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Winfrey, Wintour Host Metropolitan Costume Gala in New York

Archaeologists in Egypt Find Ptolemaic-Era King Statue

Museum-Quality Photographs Featured at Swann Galleries' Auction

Christoph Schlingensief to Design German Pavilion Artist for Venice Biennial

Third Annual American Masters at Salmagundi Club

Six New Video Works by Shoja Azari at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery

Columbus Museum of Art Announces Pivotal Gift by Soter Family

Baloise Art Prize Winner Geert Goiris in the Hamburger Kunsthalle

Stuart Pearson Wright's 'I Remember You' at Riflemaker

Exhibition of Works on Paper by Norbert Tadeusz Opens at Pinakothek der Moderne

National Postal Museum Celebrates the 150th Anniversary of the Pony Express with an Online Featured Collection

Academy Art Museum Announces Appointment of Erik H. Neil as Director

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Porsche Super Speedster offered for first time in 50 years at RM Sotheby's Porsche 70th Anniversary Auction

2.- Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens opens 'Storytelling: French Art from the Horvitz Collection'

3.- Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti stars Vincent Cassel as the famed French artist

4.- Stunning colored diamonds expected to dazzle at Heritage Auctions' Summer Fine Jewelry Auction

5.- US designer Kate Spade found dead at 55

6.- Vincent Van Gogh painting sells for over 7 million euros: Artcurial auction house

7.- Sir Stanley Spencer painting discovered hidden under a bed during a drugs raid

8.- Oxford's Bodleian Libraries unveil UK's first major Tolkien exhibition in decades

9.- Major exhibition at the Guggenheim explores decades of work by Alberto Giacometti

10.- World's largest freshwater pearl goes for 320,000 euros

Related Stories

New Paintings and Oil Barrels by Shiva Ahmadi at Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller

First Solo Exhibition of Paintings by Roya Akhavan at LTMH Gallery

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful