An exhibition of photographic montages by Iranian artist Soody Sharifi will be on view at LTMH Gallery from February 4 through February 22, 2011. Of Miniature Serenades and Maxiature Moments is the artist’s first solo show in New York City. The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with an essay by Francesca Leoni, Curator of Islamic Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
In the works from the Maxiatures series, which make up the largest part of this exhibition, the artist has taken traditional Persian miniature paintings, blown them up to a larger size, and interjected them with modern characters and objects, such as off-road vehicles and satellite dishes. The blurred narratives of figures from Persian aristocratic court culture and people from everyday life, explore both the tension between public and private spaces and the contrast between tradition and modernity. The Maxiatures also play with the clash of mediums, whereby meticulously painted miniatures meet modern-day photography. The series Persian Delights adopts the same digital concept, although the setting is reduced to a single narrative placed in front of a monochromatic bright background. By adding further layers to the fabric of the original miniatures, the artist draws a line of continuity between the content and crafts of the14th and 15th century through to the present day.
As Leoni writes in the catalogue, “Suspended between fiction and reality, these spaces welcome modern actors, providing contexts for new stories while at the same time offering the opportunity to comment on the themes that underlie the traditional images. Hence, not only do the new compositions build on their traditional models pictorially, but they also elaborate on them conceptually, creating a continuum between past and present.”
Soody Sharifi was born in Tehran in 1955 and received her MFA in photography from the University of Houston. The artist has been awarded a number of grants in the U.S. Her work has been exhibited widely in the U.S.!and is in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Farjam Collection in Dubai. Sharifi lives and works in Houston, Texas.