Amir H. Fallah
May 28th – September 27th, 2015
Opening Reception & Artist Lecture May 28th, 6-8pm
Nerman Museum Of Contemporary Art
12345 College Blvd
Overland Park, Kansas 66210
Amir H. Fallah’s installation, “The Caretaker,” is a continuation of his unique brand of portraiture. The artist creates a three-dimensional picture of his subject, JCCC journalism professor Mark Raduziner, through paintings and constructions inspired by Raduziner’s possessions, including his collection of more than 300 cactus plants, which has gained him a measure of local renown.
“An overarching theme of most of my work is: ‘How do you create an alternative portrait?’” Fallah said in a recent interview. “Instead of describing what someone looks like superficially, how do we approach portraiture in a new way?”
The central element of his installation is a 12-foot-high sculpture inspired by Raduziner’s collection of lava lamps, fronted with Plexiglas and mounted on a circular platform. Grow lights illumine the interior, which is lined with marbleized paper and houses a life-sized painted portrait of Raduziner, his head, face and entire upper body entirely hidden beneath wildly patterned Coogi sweaters.
Raduziner inherited the sweaters from his father; the needlepoint he holds belonged to his mother. Displayed with the painting, assorted specimens from Raduziner’s cactus collection complete this diorama of his life. Fallah extends his unconventional portrayal of Raduziner on the gallery walls, where he is displaying a massive wall hanging created from Coogi sweaters, large tondo paintings of flowers and additional cactus plants on specially-made shelves.
Peter Frank reviews my two shows in LA. Read the full review on the Artillery magazine website or below.
We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles
Official Collateral Event of the 56th Biennale Arti
May 9 – November 22, 2015
We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is an exhibition that presents, for the first time on the international stage, a group of exceptional contemporary Los Angeles artists whose work makes Los Angeles one of the most exciting hubs of creativity in the world today.
We Must Risk Delight is inspired by the poem A Brief for the Defense by a Pulitzer Prize for Poetry finalist, Jack Gilbert. In his viscerally visual poem, Gilbert calls on humanity to recognize every moment of delight even in the most ominous of impressions. By slicing through the somber depictions of the world we live in with sharp and vibrant moments of joy, the poet presents an irrefutable case for our happiness as being our most requisite expression of freedom, not in spite of the cruelty that is a part of our world, but because of it.
A work of art represents the artist’s vision of the world and, when embraced, it can be seen as a way of making a world. The artists presented in We Must Risk Delight will give the audiences of the Biennale Arte 2015 an opportunity to discover the city of Los Angeles through the kaleidoscope of its creative community, while also encouraging us all to risk delight and celebrate the act of creating as humanity’s pathway to joy: both within ourselves and in the collective world around us.
We Must Risk Delight: Twenty Artists from Los Angeles is being presented as an official Collateral Event of the 56th manifestation of la Biennale di Venezia, Biennale Arte 2015.
Exhibition on view: May 9 – November 22, 2015
Opening Party: May 7 @ 7pm
Venue: Magazzino del Sale No. 3, via Dorsoduro 264, Venezia 30123, Italy
Brandy Eve Allen Tanya Batura Jamison Carter Carolyn Castaño
Robbie Conal Kenturah Davis Amir H. Fallah Alexandra Grant
Margaret Griffith Sherin Guirguis Ben Jackel Mark Licari
Rebecca Niederlander Stas Orlovski Natasa Prosenc Stearns Tony de los Reyes
Frank Ryan Shizu Saldamando Carole Silverstein Alexis Zoto
I’m happy to be included in A Curious Blindness At Columbia University’s Wallach Gallery.
April 22 – June 13, 2015
Opening reception: April 21, 2015, 6 – 8pm
A curious blindness reflects a moment captured by eighteen early- to mid-career artists who engage with the complex climate of race and identity politics. Despite their varied backgrounds and influences, there is a shared consciousness of how people of color are treated and represented in a purportedly post–racial era. The selection of works within the exhibition responds and reacts to the institutionalized racism that permeates the quotidian through media, consumer capitalism, and the art-historical canon. The artists are influenced by ideas of portraiture, seriality, and the consumable that evoke the ways in which the body of color has been objectified and abbreviated through time. a curious blindness is curated by Vivian Chui, Tara Kuruvilla, and Doris Zhao. It is the third presentation of MODA Curates—an annual opportunity offered by The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Art Gallery and the MA in Modern Art: Critical and Curatorial Studies Program (MODA) for outstanding curatorial proposals related to students’ theses.
Exhibiting Artists: Elia Alba, Firelei Báez, Suzanne Broughel, Ling Chun, Suntek Chung, Amir H. Fallah, Paula Garcia, Girl (Chitra Ganesh & Simone Leigh), Hassan Hajjaj, Nora Howell, Timothy Hyunsoo Lee, Ahmed Mater, Divya Mehra, Jayson Musson, Rashaad Newsome, Sondra Perry, Paul Anthony Smith
The Wallach Gallery is located on the 8th floor of Schermerhorn Hall, Columbia University, 1190 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10027.
Regular hours are Wednesday to Saturday, from 1 to 5pm.
Residency & Exhibition:
January 12 – March 27, 2015
18th Street Arts Center | Main Gallery
1639 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
For his Artist Lab Residency beginning January 12, 2015 at 18th Street Arts Center, LA-based painter and installation artist Amir H. Fallah turns a lens on his own city. Perfect Strangers is an ongoing project that Fallah has used to explore identity, place, and the life of objects in cities around the world. At 18th Street, Fallah will collaborate with young residents of Santa Monica to create site-specific portraits through painting, installation, photography, and sound. Exploring ideas of portrait/anti-portrait, Fallah offers a vision of community described through the deliberate arrangement of sentimental ephemera, collectedfrom subjects known and unknown, that embraces the nuances of the process by which we establish a sense of self.
In the Artist Lab, school children at area private and public schools will participate in Fallah’s project, creating group self-portraits focused on objects of significance to them, and collaborating to produce a portrait of their own imaginings of their future selves. Additionally, Fallah will work with students from nearby Santa Monica College to create an installation environment inside which painted and recorded portraits of his collaborators will be installed. These evolving installations at 18th Street will be complemented by a related body of work drawn from local estate sales, on view across town at Chinatown’s Charlie James Gallery in March 2015. This work completes the circle of life that Fallah represents in his project, resulting in portraits of identity constructed forensically on behalf of the deceased; contrasting with his portraits at 18th Street made collaboratively with youth to describe their lives as yet unknown.
Much like a historian or ethnographer, Fallah works with a diverse mix of local communities and groups to collect material evidence of their private and public lives and transform them into artworks. Portraits are composed using objects and textiles the subjects deem significant, to develop an exploration of the ways that identities are formed out of emotional associations with– and nostalgia for–specific products, objects, and places. Perfect Strangers re-interprets and gives new weight to everyday objects as active participants in the construction of self identification. Fallah’s compositions, both fluid and fragmented, embrace the moments when things do not quite align, and gives the work a sense of honesty that reveals the complex factors of identity which cannot be expressed through a simple corporeal rendering. Inviting the community and its objects into the Artist Lab, Fallah articulates a sense of regional identity that is ambiguous, yet informed by the perspective of an international artist who calls the Los Angeles metro area home.
Charlie James Gallery is pleased to present From The Primitive To The Present, the first solo exhibition of Los Angeles-based artist Amir H. Fallah with the gallery.
Fallah began working on this exhibition one year ago by searching through listings of estate sales taking place around Los Angeles. After picking a sale at random, he went on to purchase several objects belonging to a family who had lived in North Hollywood for a generation. Fallah left the sale with diaries, home movies, clothing and other objects chronicling the family’s personal history; he then spent the course of the next year sifting through these fragments of the family’s life, filling in the gaps where necessary, to create a narrative and build portraits of the family members through painting, sculpture and collage.
Fallah presents five large paintings for the show – abstracted portraits of the family members, who are never named and remain anonymous. The canvases have been crafted and in some cases shaped to resemble objects taken from the home. The figures in Fallah’s portraits are faceless, their forms are composed of fabric patterns, objects and details associated with each individual family member. Cast sculptures of personal mementos are exhibited on a large plinth, taking on a fossil-like quality as though excavated. Fallah has also created a collection of collages from old family photographs, using dried oil paint to obscure all recognizable features – the dried oil paint the remnants of the paint used in the portraits of the family members. Working simultaneously as private eye, archeologist and accidental stalker, Fallah creates new narratives that tell universal stories of love, life, and regret.
Concurrent to the exhibition at the gallery, Fallah is exhibiting a project at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica running from January 12th thru March 27th. Following the exhibition at Charlie James Gallery, Fallah travels to Overland Park, KS for a site-specific installation at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art.
The folks over at Hypebeast spent the last three months in my studio documenting the process of me creating my biggest painting to date.