Untitled (from the horses series), 1989

Farideh Lashai
Untitled (from the horses series), 1989
Oil on paper
47x62 cm
Courtesy of the estate of the artist

Overview

This major retrospective traces the development of the late-Iranian artist's practice from the early 1960s into the 21st century, reflecting on the evolution of her ideas and expressive forms attuned to the shifting ground beneath her feet.

The exhibition includes painting, sculpture, multimedia installation and stop motion animation produced over the course of a career that spanned more than five decades.

Lashai's work often references iconic works of art, literature and film while engaging with the political and social conditions in Iran. The influence of her hometown of Lasha runs through many years of her work, as does the exposure, from an early age, to a profound sense of injustice, most concretely explored through democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddegh figuring in both her artwork and writing.

Presented in the heritage house of Bait Al Serkal, the exhibition features a large survey of paintings on canvas and paper, including the Pomegranates Series, the Trees Series and the Mosaddegh Series. Also included are Lashai's crystal vases, a number of them with delicately engraved cypress trees, which she designed and carved during her time at Riedel Studios in Kufstein, Austria.

In later years, her practice increasingly focused on exploring combinations of painting and projected animations, anticipating explorations of surface, depth and narrative that feel urgent to our contemporary moment. A number of these works are presented in Sharjah, including Prelude to Alice in Wonderland, which features her 'vulnerable rabbits' inspired by her brother's description of people during the Tehran bombardments of the Iraq-Iran War and When I Count, There are Only You... But When I Look, There is Only a Shadow, which takes its point of departure from Francisco Goya's Los Desastres de Guerra (1810–20).

In Bait Al Serkal's courtyard, the work Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear, is presented for the first time since showing in The Gardens of Iran: Ancient Wisdom, New Vision at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (2004). In this work, wire mesh is used to create four cylindrical forms, within which small paintings of cypress leaves on Plexiglass are suspended. These four 'trees' reference the design of a traditional Persian garden – an earthly paradise represented as an enclosed space defined by two intersecting streams. The cypress, a historic symbol of Iran's ability to endure repeated invasions, along with accompanying inverted text, sheds light on the reality of this endurance and what still remains.

This exhibition was curated by Sharjah Art Foundation Director Hoor Al Qasimi.

Artwork Images

Untitled, from the Mosaddegh Series

Farideh Lashai
2008

Oil and graphite on canvas
186 x 270 cm
Private Collection, London
Installation view, Bait Al Serkal, 2016.
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

View all images
Untitled, from the Mosaddegh Series Image

Various works

Farideh Lashai

Installation view, Bait Al Serkal, 2016.
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

Various works Image

Various works

Farideh Lashai

Installation view, Bait Al Serkal, 2016.
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

Various works Image

Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear

Farideh Lashai
2004

Courtesy of the estate of the artist
Installation view, Bait Al Serkal, 2016
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear Image

Catching the Moon

Farideh Lashai
2012-13

Projected animation with sound in a water-well, 3 minutes
HH Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan Collection

Catching the Moon Image

Various works

Right to left:

Blue II, 2007
Oil on canvas, 180 x 200 cm, courtesy estate of artist

Blue I, 2007
Oil on canvas, 180 x 200 cm, courtesy estate of artist

Untitled, 2000s
Oil on canvas, 108.5 x 118 cm, courtesy estate of artist

Untitled, 2007
Oil and pencil on canvas, 200 x 180 cm. Hessam Atighi Collection

Installation view, Bait Al Serkal, 2016.
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

Various works Image

Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear

Farideh Lashai
2004

Courtesy of the estate of the artist
Installation view, Bait Al Serkal, 2016
Image courtesy of Sharjah Art Foundation

Close images
Tyranny of Autumn, Not Every Tree Can Bear Image

Related

Farideh Lashai

Farideh Lashai

Farideh Lashai (1944 – 2013) was a true multi-disciplinary artist, working in painting, sculpture, installation and stop motion animation.