Kamrooz Aram’s work disrupts the false opposition between ornament and abstraction, and challenges ornament’s relegation to discourses of criminality and excess. In his wide ranging exhibitions, he stages an encounter between the Euro-American avant-garde and non-western forms of abstraction, interrogating the boundaries between art, artifact, and modes of display. His lyrical paintings and arrangements break down the hierarchies of modernist aesthetics, asking that we rethink its categories and re-encounter these ideas and objects anew. Combining painting, sculpture, collage and exhibition design, he creates an interdependence between object and display, revealing the significance of design and architecture in affecting the interpretation of art.
Kamrooz Aram was born in Shiraz, Iran and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001 and MFA from Columbia University in 2003.
Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include: Privacy: An Exhibition, The Arts Club of Chicago, Chicago, IL (2022); Un Object, Un Geste, Galerie Mitterrand, Paris (2021); Lives of Forms: Kamrooz Aram and Iman Issa, Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design & Architecture, Belgium (2021); The New Arabesque, Nature Morte, New Delhi, India (2021); Arabesque, Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2019); An Object, A Gesture, A Décor, FLAG Art Foundation, NY (2018); FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, TX, USA (2018); Ancient Blue Ornament, Atlanta Contemporary, Atlanta, GA, USA (2018); Kamrooz Aram, Anwar Jalal Shemza, Hales Gallery, NY, USA (2018); Ornament for Indifferent Architecture, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Belgium (2017).
Recent group exhibitions include: Matisse Alive, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2021); Field of Vision, Peter Blum Gallery, New York, USA (2021); RELATIONS: Diaspora and Painting, PHI Foundation for Contemporary Art, Montreal, Canada (2020); Some Mysterious Process: 50 Years of Collecting International Art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia (2020); Desorientalismos, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville, Spain (2020); Fragile Frontiers: Visions on Iran’s in/visible borders, YARAT Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan (2019); Gateway: Fragments, Yesterday and Today, Gallery S, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, UAE (2019); The Crime of Adolf Loos, Axel Vervoodt, Belgium (2019); Jameel Prize 5, The Porter Gallery, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2018); Le Musée Imaginaire, Pavillion Trab, Jaou Tunis, Tunisia (2018).
Through painting, and more recently, sculpture and collage, Kamrooz Aram’s practice explores the classification and hierarchies of art history.
Kamrooz Aram revisits many recognizable forms—the problematic arabesque being a focus of his efforts, but others tropes and gestures as well, pulled from antiquity (Islamic and otherwise), carpets and textiles, and the works of modernist architects such as LeCorbusier.
Vivian Sky Rehberg review Kamrooz Aram and Iman Issa’s exhibition, Lives of Forms, at Z33 House for Contemporary Art, Design and Architecture, Hasselt, Belgium.
Nadine Khalil reviews Kamrooz Aram's third solo show at Green Art Gallery, Dubai.
Paul Laster reviews FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas.
Critics' Picks: Lee Escobedo on Kamrooz Aram in FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas.
Review of Kamrooz Aram's museum solo FOCUS: Kamrooz Aram at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by Christopher Blay.
A review of Kamrooz Aram's solo Ancient Blue Ornament, curated by Daniel Fuller at Atlanta Contemporary by Jordan Amirkhani.
Critics' Picks: Paula Burleigh on Kamrooz Aram in Kamrooz Aram, Anwar Jalal Shemza at Hales Project Room, NY.
Exhibition Review of Kamrooz Aram's Recollections for a Room by Murtaza Vali.
Kamrooz Aram discusses his recent work and shows in Dubai and Belgium in an interview with Michael Stipe.
Hrag Vartanian names Kamrooz Aram's solo show Palimpsest: Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors as a Honorable Mention at the Top 10 Exhibitions Around the World.
Fixed Unknowns, the current exhibition on the upper level of Tribeca’s Taymour Grahne Gallery, breeds constant questioning of the image before the eyes.
Ari Akkermans review Kamrooz Aram solo exhibition Palimpsest: Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors on Mantle.
Christopher Lord reviews the monograph of Kamooz Aram Unstable Paintings for Anxious Interiors in May/June issue of Harper's Bazaar Art Arabia.
Ideologies and iconography are at the core of Kamrooz Aram’s oeuvre, rendered abstractly through his paintings, drawings and collages. Murtaza Vali speaks with the Iranian-born New York-based artist, who is among the winners of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014.
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie reviews Kamrooz Aram and Seher Shah's work in the exhibition Brute Ornament at Green Art Gallery in Bidoun Magazine.
Curated by Murtaza Vali, this exhibition of recent works by Kamrooz Aram and Seher Shah could easily be mistaken for yet another critique of modernism’s ideologies, myths, and utopian flops.