­­Zahra Nazari: Interiors

In Dialogue
Inside Out Oculus, 2022, acrylic on mylar, 36×45.5 in.

In her Interiors painting series, American Iranian-born painter Zahra Nazari draws on prominent features in classical Persian and Islamic architecture—decorative botanical motifs, arch, and particularly, iwan, the large, vaulted hall semi-enclosed and usually walled on three sides, with one end entirely open. Many scholars believe its origin can be traced back to the Parthian era. While looking at Nazari’s luminous surfaces, it may be interesting to keep in mind the dual role of the Persian arch—it serves both decorative and functional purposes—this richly decorated key aesthetic element in Persian architecture functions not only as an ornament but also as a structural support that provides stability. It is also designed to moderate the amount of sunlight that enters space, especially in iwans or other open spaces. Nazari’s frequent use of Mylar as a surface stirs a play on the notion of external and internal light, and simultaneously, her saturated color palette invokes a hot and arid climate with bright, sunlit days and crisp nights. Repetitive and rhythmical, these motifs coalesce into energetic, translucent, and luminous surfaces, evoking an interior space in flux. Zahra Nazari elaborates on her ideas and process in this interview with Art Spiel.

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Emily Culver: The Idea of a Thing

In Dialogue

Portrait, photo courtesy of the artist

Virginia-based artist Emily Culver’s background is as multifaceted as her artwork. With a father who is a carpenter and contractor and a mother who transitioned from being a midwife to a nursing professor, she was raised in a world that merged craft and body. This upbringing influenced her own creative direction. Adept at procedural tasks, she nonetheless felt a pull towards a less constrained form of expression. College introduced her to painting, but she soon sought more than just surfaces, finding herself intrigued by the interplay of gravity, physics, and mechanics.

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Peter Eudenbach: From Cricket Songs to Solar Panels

In Dialogue

A framed picture of a person sitting in a chair

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Virginia-based artist Peter Eudenbach says that while he has always been interested in making things, his pathway to studio art was through the humanities. The history of art and ideas became part of his language even before he found his voice as an artist. His belief that studio practice has the most potential to make sense of human experience was a significant driver in his choice to pursue an art career.

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Private View from Home to Home

In Dialogue with Naomi Lev, Rebecca Pristoop, and Sarah Crown

A picture containing text, indoor, floor, wall

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Left to right, Noa Charuvi, Aimee Burg, Gabriela Salazar, installation view at Naomi Lev’s home (also in the picture: Dov Talpaz, Yahm, and Naomi Lev, as part of Lev’s personal collection).

The Exhibition Private View is a bit like an artist’s game of telephone. Three curators: Sarah Crown, Naomi Lev, Rebecca Pristoop, coordinated the movement of works by seven artists (Aimée Burg, Noa Charuvi, Tamar Ettun, Julia Goldman, KB Jones, Dana Levy, Gabriela Salazar) from home to home of each of the artists. In each new space the works were rehung, re-organized, and displayed in a new environment, often with the addition of the host’s collection of art. I interviewed the curators to find out how they planned and executed this show and how it was recorded and disseminated. In a way this exhibition reversed the traditional structure of personal and private: instead of the public being able to see artworks in a whitebox gallery or museum, which has been made impossible because of the pandemic, we became spectators on an artists private space—we couldn’t be there in person, but via Instagram we were shown more than we usually get to see. These notions of intimacy, personal expression, and a safe space in times of turmoil were central to the exhibition Private View.

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