August 9, 2020

Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King

An Iranian-born artist who’s recently been the victim of Trump’s travel ban, unable to return home since 2015, Arghavan Khosravi’s paintings examine her culture from a new perspective
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About the Exhibit - Tightrope Walking the Red Lines

Arghavan Khosravi’s exhibit, Tightrope Walking the Red Lines, was on view at Lyles and King Gallery from October 11 - November 24, 2019. 

Khosravi is an Iran-born artist and paints subjects set in the present day that are confronting their cultural and sociopolitical past. 

Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King
“Using trompe-l’oeil, shaped canvases, and found textiles, the Iranian painter—who arrived in the U.S. in 2015 and now cannot return, thanks to Trump’s travel ban—forges a melancholic lexicon to reflect on both women’s status in her native country and her own feelings of dislocation.” - The New Yorker (source
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King
“Khosravi paints metaphysical and vivid, contemporary scenes that confront the challenges of existence under religious-ideological autocracies through the consideration of a woman seeking independence.” (source
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King
“The figures I depict are in elegant and presumably nonviolent positions, and I often source fashion photographs to suggest these poses. But I put them in a context that hints at something uncomfortable. Fashion can be an example of hidden violence, even in developed societies. The crinoline suggests entrapment and control, and the glass shows fragility, suspension, and uncertainty, which are a big part of my life these days.” - Arghavan Khosravi (source
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King

“The thin red line, rope, tape, or blindfold is a central motif running within and throughout many of Khosravi’s works in the so-titled exhibition, instilling a delicate yet constant presence of control and repression”  (source)  

Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King
“In all my paintings, I’m conveying a life dominated by a religious-ideological autocratic system, but I’m aiming for an indirect and subtle approach. For me the thread symbolizes these lines drawn by an autocratic power—or perhaps more generally the oppression of women in patriarchal societies—which must not be overstepped. And its color, red, carries these connotations of repression, suppression, and imposition of power.” - Arghavan Khosravi (source
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King

'A Family Portrait (Childhood Memories)' is an example of Khosravi confronting her culture by painting a woman in bed with long hair, freely out. “Outside the home, Iranian law obligates women to cover their hair, so the emphasis on its flow feels like revealing a precious secret.” (source

 A Family Portrait (Childhood Memories)
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles & King

'You’re Free to Fly' is a painting that references all parts of Khosravi’s life, made with  Persian-style, USA-made textiles and a figure wearing an Apple™ watch.

You’re Free to Fly

The lavish manuscripts and textiles Khosravi references in her work are “central to Iran’s cultural and artistic self-definition,” with many being sent from her father back in Iran. 

Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles and King

About the Artist - Arghavan Khosravi 

Arghavan Khosravi was born in Iran and studied fine art in Tehran, arriving in the United States in 2015. She also received an MFA from RISDI (Rhode Island School of Design). 

Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles and King
“I want my paintings to be, to some extent, open to different interpretations, based on the viewer’s own way of thinking, influenced by whatever they have gone through up until the moment when they’re standing in front of my painting. And I don’t necessarily want to dictate exactly what I mean by the painting, although I do often have some specific narrative in my mind.” - Arghavan Khosravi (source
Arghavan Khosravi at Lyles and King

Khosravi lives in New Jersey and works in New York as a member artist of the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. She’s now represented by Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York. 

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