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Kamrooz Aram

Kamrooz Aram, Untitled (Arabesque Composition) (detail), 2021

Z33 presents the first two-person exhibition of internationally acclaimed artists Kamrooz Aram (IR 1978) and Iman Issa (EG, 1979). Entitled Lives of Forms, this exhibition focuses on the artists’ explorations of the personal and political significance of aesthetic forms.

Iman Issa reimagines existing artworks and monuments. In two series of sculptural displays, she introduces new forms to evoke the same ideas, public figures, and historical events as those portrayed in the original works she references. Stripped of recognizable details, her versions look nothing like the originals. In this way, she directs the viewer’s attention away from questions of provenance and towards the changing relationship between form and subject matter. Whereas the form of an artwork or monument normally remains unchanged over time, the meaning of what it represents changes as a result of historical developments. Issa’s works seek new forms for shifting meanings. Which forms can convey the meaning of a word, person or historical moment?

Kamrooz Aram’s unique approach to painting extends beyond the canvas and onto the gallery walls, integrating exhibition design with the artworks on display. In his work, he places ornament at the center of modern painting, thus challenging eurocentric versions of art history in which ornamental art is seen as a lesser art form. Aram’s compositions in the exhibition reveal surprising parallels between ornamental art and geometric abstract painting. They create subtle interdependences between paintings, objects and the mechanism of display, inviting the viewer to consider how the way we look at forms and artifacts in museums is shaped by the display strategies we encounter.

Curator: Tim Roerig & Silvia Franceschini

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