James Cohan is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, on view from January 29 through March 6 at 48 Walker Street and January 29 through February 27 at 291 Grand Street. The exhibition will span both of the gallery’s locations, with a presentation of three major sculptural series in Tribeca and a selection of the artist’s geometric drawings, related sculptures, and a nine-element installation in the Lower East Side. This is the late artist’s first exhibition with James Cohan.
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Over six decades, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian (1922 - 2019) investigated the intricate geometries of her Iranian heritage, reconfiguring traditional craft techniques to explore the philosophical, poetic, and perceptual possibilities of interlocking primary forms. In her work, rigorous structure and repetition are the foundations of invention and limitless variation. Spanning mirrored mosaics, sculptural assemblage, drawings, textiles and monotypes, Monir’s multidimensional practice centered on incorporating elements from her inherited past into her own designs—which blended a range of compositional influences, from classical Persian interior decoration to Western modernism.
Monir is best known for her geometric mirror-works, in which cut polygonal fragments of reverse-painted, reflective glass are arranged into kaleidoscopic compositions grounded on principles of Islamic geometry. Tied to a mystical understanding of primary shapes as sacred and connected to a divine natural order, her unit-based compositions of luminous glass reveal uniformity, repetition, and precedent as the basis for endless recombination. This two-part exhibition brings together major mirror-mosaic works and related geometric drawings from the prolific period following Monir's return to Iran in 2004.