Leila Heller is pleased to announce, Gaze and Glance, an exhibition of new paintings by Iranian- American artist, Bahar Sabzevari, opening on Thursday, September 17th, 2020
Leila Heller is pleased to announce, Gaze and Glance, an exhibition of new paintings by Iranian- American artist, Bahar Sabzevari, opening on Thursday, September 17th, 2020 and on view through Wednesday, October 14th, 2020 in New York.
Sabzevari’s self-portraits are deliberate and layered, focusing on themes of identity and nostalgia. The artist goes through a technical process of studying Persian mythology, paired with a curiosity for wildlife and animal documentaries resulting in a fusion of themes to create her version of a Persian-wonderland. Prior to painting, Sabzevari conducts a disciplined approach with her creative application. She creates preliminary sketches and then assembles a combination of models and maquettes of the creatures that come to mind. This varying relationship between contemporary culture and art history allows the artist the freedom and conceptual range to arrange her own reality on canvas, wood or linen.
Her self-portraits represent a visual diary of nonverbal record, seeking to convey her identity, beliefs, values, state of mind, and experiences as a woman in Iran. The paintings are emotive, through the eyes, color palette and suspended playfulness around the woman’s crown. Inspired by her love for animals, dream reflections and cultural heritage, her canvases grapple with presenting her personal self-image and self-expression within an age where social media largely skews the public perceptions of the individual.
In Gaze and Glance, Sabzevari considers the importance of the gaze. She simultaneously invites the viewer to observe her and be observed by her, provoking the questions; “Who is the object?” and “Who is the subject?”. Sabzevari notes, “I like when the communication between the two gazes blurs the boundaries between the two roles until it becomes unclear who exactly is gazing at whom…I follow [the viewer] everywhere around the room and I ask them to do the same…challenging them by blurring the lines between subject and object, real and unreal, being seductive, or showing a powerful woman, or both at the same time.”
Courtesy of Leila Heller Gallery
September 17 (Thursday) - October 14 (Wednesday)
Leila Heller Gallery
17 East 76th Street (off Madison Avenue) New York, NY 1002