11
Jul
10

Shirazeh Houshiary : Artist

Threshold
Painting
2008

Protecting Veil
Painting
2008

Untitled
Drawing
2007

Untitled
Drawing
2005

Untitled
Drawing
2005

Untitled
Drawing
2005

The art of Shirazeh Houshiary, the Iranian-born painter who was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1994 and who was responsible for the new East window recently created for St Martin-in-the-Fields church in central London, has always had a strong relationship with the word. Writing forms the basis of her elusive and beautiful paintings. Each work has been derived from a word unknown to the viewer, a word that has a relevance for the artist. Like clouds, they appear to hover insubstantially over the solid aquacryl backgrounds. These canvases seem to ask questions. Is this a painting? If so, of what and what does it mean? But these are the wrong questions. For these are not paintings of objects, nor are they, in the conventional sense, abstract paintings; rather they are emotional states made manifest in paint. Like the whirling dervishes, for whom their twirling dance is one of the physical methods used to reach religious ecstasy, these paintings have a similar (though more secular) function. Their making can be considered a form of meditation and as in meditation concentration on the breath is paramount. [The Independent : June 25, 2008 : Sue Hubbard]

Shirazeh Houshiary Website

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