Departed and Yet Remaining
24 January -12 February, 2014


Assar Art Gallery is pleased to present Departed and Yet Remaining, an exhibition of recent works by Samira Alikhanzadeh.

The exhibited collection comprises eight pieces including three installations and a light-box along with four other works created in Alikhanzadeh’s signature technique of digital manipulation of old found photographs.

In her latest collection, Samira Alikhanzadeh has materialized her aesthetic notion of timelessness and endurance of beauty in a romantic yet playful way. Using a single photo of a woman who would be 96 should she be alive today as the plot for her visual narrative, the artist has created eight different episodes of representational compositions, each portraying the objective immortality of beauty.

Being inspired by material and concept more than ever in her latest body of work, Alikhanzadeh once again renders identity issues out of a defined time-bracket. By bringing into play the visual effects of acrylic mirror Perspex, the main material employed in her newest works, the artist guides the viewers away from looking at a frozen moment in the photo with the common attempt of finding out the original intention behind it. Rather, she replaces the nostalgic feel with an observant approach, giving her audience the chance to get inspired by the concept of beauty and to project back the abstracted image into present space and time. Such an intellectual practice not only acts as the overall scheme of the exhibition, but it also depicts the creative process the artist, too, has gone through.

In her light-box installation, for example, the transparent quality of mirror Perspex makes viewers see their own image as well as the one behind it. The fading in and out of the light, in addition, consecutively brings out one of the two superimposed images, intermingling the feel of the old and the new, them and us, then and now and nostalgia and contended relief resulting in a contemporary catharsis; the reverse path Alikhanzadeh has possibly gone through to create the piece. The layered structure of her work that dates back to 2009 when she first started off her renowned Persian Carpet series is also a feature that helps viewers decode her visual rhetoric in view of the juxtaposed materials and objects she employs.

Samira Alikhanzadeh was born in 1967 in Tehran, Iran where she currently lives and works. She has taken part in over 30 exhibitions and art fairs in North America, Europe and the Middle East since 1995 and her work is part of some important collections such as the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).