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New body of work by Andisheh Avini on view at Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York
Andisheh Avini, Untitled, 2013. Silkscreen ink on canvas 30 x 60 inches 76.2 x 152.4 cm Signed and dated in ink (verso). Courtesy of the artist and Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York © Andisheh Avini. Photo: Jason Wyche.

NEW YORK, NY.- Marianne Boesky Gallery presents a new body of work by Andisheh Avini. This solo exhibition is the artist’s first since joining the gallery in 2012. It runs from January 16 through February 15, 2014 at 509 West 24th Street.

Andisheh Avini uses the subjective experience of his Iranian heritage as a platform from which to explore more collective notions of memory and the significance of imagery. For his first solo exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery, Avini presents a new series of large-scale silkscreen paintings depicting the intense gaze of Khomeini. Here, Avini has reduced the appropriated image of the revolutionary figure to his eyes, and in doing so, uproots the image’s cultural specificity. Mysterious, menacing, and lofty, the series alludes to a child’s impressions of the world around him - gained both through empirical interaction and the mediation of popular culture. In turn, these images inspire the adult recollection of those early impressions.

In the main gallery, Avini presents new marquetry paintings, works in which the artist continues his interest in appropriation and aesthetic intervention. Handmade in Iran, the panels that Avini uses as the support for these works are made to order, and their geometric designs are a highly recognizable and quotidian feature of Iranian culture. By painting over them, Avini uses the tight patterning and rigid, age-old tradition of these panels as a way to explore the liberated, gestural potential of painting. This visual interaction further suggests the artist’s own relationship to his cultural heritage and personal history, linked as it is to an historical moment whose regulated visual proscriptions are antithetical to the aesthetic possibilities within his life in New York. Sourcing bits and pieces of simple images - the curve of a lock of hair, for instance - Avini reduces them to their essential forms until their origin is diluted and the fluidity of paint is emphasized. In these palimpsestic hybrids, Avini’s overwriting obstructs and complicates the language of the traditional designs, both in a visual and conceptual sense.

Avini also uses another “readymade” material as a support for his painted compositions: carpets. Here, Avini mines both the banality and textured warmth of the non-art support material to further disrupt traditional notions of the painterly practice. Additionally, the exhibition presents paintings that feature a new motif in Avini’s work: the lush and coveted patterning of the peacock feather, a classic example of naturally occurring symmetry and formal beauty. In this way, Avini’s cultural and aesthetic investigation enters into the larger art historical discussion regarding the tension between craft, design, and “high art,” as well as participating in the critical reassessment of images that has occupied Western artists since modernism.

Andisheh Avini was born in 1974 in New York. Educated at Hunter College in New York, he has shown consistently in solo and group exhibitions since 2002, including locations in New York, Berlin, Los Angeles, Basel, Madrid and Paris. He currently lives and works in New York.

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