Opening Reception: June 1, 6-9pm
Shulamit Nazarian is proud to present The Project Room, an exhibition featuring new works by Los Angeles artists Amir H. Fallah, Nasim Hantehzadeh, Jennie Jieun Lee, and Fay Ray.
Reconsidering the gallery’s interior architecture, The Project Room subdivides the exhibition space into four individual solo presentations, each centered on a new large-scale drawing, painting, or sculpture. Project rooms have long played a pivotal role in allowing artists to experiment with new modes of artistic production and methods of display. With this in mind, The Project Room brings together multiple, disparate visions under one roof, illustrating the various ways in which this context allows for conceptual liberties and new insights into an artist’s practice.
For this exhibition, Amir H. Fallah will show his largest painting to date, presented on top of a new architecturally-specific wall mural. Fallah’s paintings interrogate systems of representation in Western art history and in the contemporary presentation of oneself. Focusing on artists in the diverse immigrant community of Los Angeles, Fallah’s portraits detail the banal yet elevated objects found in their domestic environment. Often veiling his subjects, Fallah’s paintings question modes of portraiture while simultaneously using personal history as an entry point to discuss race, the body, and cultural memories. Rorschached, obscured figures ask the viewer to decode purposefully ambiguous, yet highly developed environments – ultimately, investigating feelings of being an outsider in the place one calls home.
Nasim Hantehzadeh uses geometric abstract forms in her large-scale drawings and sculptures to portray feelings of diaspora, cultural ambiguity, and psychological meandering. For The Project Room, the artist has produced a new sixteen-foot work on paper to be presented alongside a series of intimate sketchbook drawings. Having grown up in both Iran and the United States, Hantehzadeh’s work exists in a state of uncertainty, coming to form through intuitive gestures that respond to the body. She waits until her artworks are completed before attributing a narrative to them – often situating the work within current social issues, historical anachronisms, and notions of otherness.
Jennie Jieun Lee uses rich imagery and expressive, textured marks to create her ceramics and installations. Busts, masks, and vessels covered in abstract gestures conjure emotional and psychological states, while fissures, oozes, and breaks merge references to the history of idiosyncratic experiences. Created through complex, multi-part slip casting and untraditional glazing methods, Lee’s work reveals visceral, almost violent marks of making. While highly formal, her ceramics remain deeply personal. Mining her experiences as a Korean-American, Lee will present one of her largest sculptures to date: a ceramic ‘gum tree’ standing nearly seven feet tall. This piece, alongside a printed wall mural, will speak to the artist’s childhood memories and collective anxieties – measuring the past to the present.
In these new works, Fay Ray continues her exploration of female identity, cultural impulses, and fetishized objects. Influenced by religious artifacts, the artist compiles visually embellished, yet mysteriously simple, suspended sculptures. Ritualized, over-sized objects that resemble wind chimes, dream catchers, and charm bracelets are transformed through marble, chain, and industrial materials – transforming the ethereal into the permanent. For this exhibition, the artist will present a singular hanging sculpture alongside a series of cast silver spiders that scale the walls of the gallery. Conflating objectification and empowerment, Ray’s sculptures borrow from the symbolism and composition of traditional relics, adornments, and the occult. Fay Ray’s works hint at the presence of a rematerialized body through an enigmatic yet systematic organization of both abstract and familiar forms.