The Third Line is proud to present a survey exhibition of Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian that reflects upon the past decade of her remarkable artistic journey. Showcasing works from 2004 until now – including those being displayed for the first time – the exhibition highlights Monir’s stellar career as a pioneer in contemporary Iranian art.
Mapping a chronological trajectory through the different series of works that Monir completed over the past nine years, the exhibition follows the evolution of her signature styleaineh-kari mirror mosaics and her investigation into divine cosmology. The principal theme in her art practice of correlating mysticism with numerology, Islamic geometry and architecture remains a quintessential feature within this exhibit.
Through wall based panels and free standing works, Monir presents a masterful balance of meticulous craft and contemporary abstraction that utilizes an interaction of surface texture, light and reflection, colour and form. She also delves into media such as drawings in felt marker and pen and ink, layering works of coloured lines to trace structures of nomadic tents, minarets and models of architectural sculptures. Employing techniques from her Iranian heritage that date back to the sixteenth century, Monir chooses to return to the origins of abstraction and theology, and moves beyond the craft to present a modern interpretation of both the medium and the content.
Monir strives for perfection in her intricate drawings and kaleidoscopic mirror mosaics, which is highlighted in her impressive career that spans over 60 years. From early beginnings in Iran, and a later period in New York where she was a contemporary of Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Frank Stella, Monir began to tie the two dichotomies of her influences - arriving at modern abstraction in form through the use of Islamic geometry found in Iranian architecture. The resulting work has been an unconventional marriage between the deeply traditional and the genuinely avant-garde, placing her in a league of her own.