Past Exhibition / Golnaz Fathi
May 29 - June 19, 2008
Firmly anchored in extensive training in traditional calligraphy, Fathi has for over fifteen years now been perfecting the ability of script to communicate meaning away from its actual referent.
In Sleepless Nights, Golnaz Fathi delves into the flexibility of Persian calligraphic script, and its varied applications, with a thick brush, fine pen or bright white lines of light. As the words are vacated from their meaning, their forms take to the forefront and are charged with emotive potential. However, whereas her previous works included bright reds, blues and yellows competing with the speckled script, simple blocks of black and white now dominate the stream of words.
In this most recent body of work, Fathi has moved towards much smaller, more invested and obsessive types of mark making. The traditional modes of practicing calligraphy are still referenced as entire surfaces turn black with scribbles, known as theSiah Mashgh approach.This practice was originally a warm up exercise for the calligrapher to refine the shape of letters by repeating them over and over. These applications thus resulted in the page being filled with words and letters, hence the name Siah Mashgh literally meaning “black practice”.