Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility. Mirror Works and Drawings 1974-2014 will focus on the artist’s sculptural and graphic oeuvre over a career of more than forty years. While her practice has also encompassed figurative painting, it is the artist’s distinctive approach to geometric abstraction that provides a compelling entry point to an oeuvre in which objective concepts of repetition and progression, merged with the aesthetic traditions of Islamic architecture and decoration, allow for, in the artist’s own words, infinite possibility.
It will be the first museum survey of geometric mirror works and drawings by the celebrated Iranian artist Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (b. 1924, Qazvin), hosted at the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art.
The majority of the selected works are from the artist’s own collection, many of which have not been seen publicly since the 1970s.They include early mirror reliefs on plaster on wood, and a series of large-scale geometric mirror-works that formed part of the artist’s exhibition organized by Denise René in her galleries in Paris in 1977, and in New York in the same year.
The exhibition will reveal how the compositional principles of this period were translated into larger-scaled commissions, including a series of etched glass doors she created for her New York townhouse in the 1980s, and into the more ambitiously-scaled mirror sculptures based on the concept of the geometric ‘families’ which the artist has produced in the last decade since reinstating her studio in Teheran in 2004.
A selection of previously unseen abstract compositions on paper based on geometric principles produced by Monir between 1976 and 2014 reveals the central role of drawing as a conceptual foundation for the artist’s sculptural practice. The drawings also offer insight into the artist’s creative output when she was deprived of her studio during the early years of exile in the US following the Islamic Revolution in 1979.