Shirazeh Houshiary will present a new body of work for her fourth exhibition at Lehmann Maupin Gallery. The paintings in this exhibition are representative of Houshiary's continued interest in form, light and space achieved through meticulous layers and fine markings. Her first, large scale animation will also be projected during the exhibition.
Houshiary's paintings are constructed from repeated words. Her early works centered on creating form, which emerged from the canvasses to reveal luminous surfaces. This new body of work is characterized by her use of blue, which was discovered while Houshiary was working with black and white.
These undulating surfaces created by countless lines produce a web or veil that captures the viewer's gaze. Within the paintings the shapes disappear and fragment, leaving ordered and chaotic movements simultaneously. The veiling and layering technique allows the possibility to explore spaces inside the paintings, which dissolve the distinction between reality and appearance.
Houshiary's animation titled Veil is created from the images in her paintings and attempts to reveal the hidden and the invisible. It explores the idea of absence and presence and was inspired by the Veil of St. Veronica by Spanish painter Francisco de Zubaran (c.1635). Houshiary has used the veil as a way to reveal the breath. The narrative of the film explores the relation between image and imageless and what emerges is elusive and evasive.
The original version of Veil was created for the Random Dance Company in London and premiered for the production Amu at Sadlers Wells Theatre in London September 2005. It is set to tour worldwide in 2006. Houshiary has developed the animation further and created an independent film from the stage production with the help of 3D animator Mark Hatchard from HotBox Studios.
Shirazeh Houshiary was born and raised in Iran and moved to London in 1974 to study at Chelsea School of Art. After graduating, she rapidly established herself as one of the leading artists of her generation. Initially known for her sculpture, her first works on canvas date back to 1992. She has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford, Camden Arts Centre in London, and the Museum Villa Stuck in Munich, among others, and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994. Houshiary is also included in "Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking" at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, opening 26 February 2006.