A true multidisciplinary artist, Farideh Lashai produced work across painting, sculpture, installation and stop motion animation in a career that spanned more than five decades. Through brusque abstraction as well as narrative compositions and lyrical forms, Lashai’s diverse output from the early 1960s into the twenty-first century shows a reverence for idyllic landscapes while also reflecting her personal history and engagement with Iran’s political and social conditions.
On view here are multiple works by Lashai, including But When I Look, There is Only a Shadow and a reworking of Goya’s ‘Disaster of War’ series, When I Count There Are Only You… (2012–2013), which inspired the title of this exhibition. The artist removes the violent imagery present in the original etchings and reintroduces them through a projection that dances around between the frame. The work highlights the commonalities between oppression and brutality all over the world.
Lashai’s response to the Arab Spring in Egypt, El Amal (2011) is a projection of Charlie Chaplin dancing in a scene from The Great Dictator under the emerging face of Um Kulthoum from the top of the screen. The eyes of the singer are closed, as if she is ignoring the minuscule dictator under her watch dancing in excitement to the tune of her song ‘El Amal’, meaning hope.
Also on view is Lashai’s Horses (1989), a series of paintings executed with lightweight brush strokes and abstract depiction of the animals, created after the death of her mother. The series is a great example of the artist’s experiments with colour and form.
Taking its title from a work by Farideh Lashai that was itself inspired by Goya’s Disasters of War, this exhibition offers an insight into the radical ideas, visions and perspectives on humanity that inform the work of eight artists represented in the Sharjah Art Foundation Collection.
Book your ticket to this exhibition here.