Shiva Ahmadi

by Michelle Yun



Growing up in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the artist Shiva Ahmadi recalls, she knew more about Jackson Pollock than Behzad, the master miniature painter of the Safavid court. Indeed, Ahmadi’s distinct painterly style seems to combine the detailed precision of Behzad’s hand with the fluid action painting of Pollock. What emerges is part miniature, part abstract expressionism—a decidedly 21st century art form that is both bold and contemporary.

The confounding world where peace and war coexist, where beauty and destruction twirl together. This, Ahmadi reminds us, is the world seen through the eyes of a small child coming of age in war time Iran who then emigrates to the US to find it also entering a decade of warfare. Her artistic approach—drawing on allegory and imagery and insisting on gentle beautiful aesthetic perspectives keeps the work from becoming dogmatic or didactic.  Authors: Michelle Yun & Talinn Grigor (Rizzoli/Skira, Nov 7 2017, HC, 128 pp, 9.8 in x 12.2 in)

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About the Author


Michelle Yun

Michelle Yun is Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Asia Society Museum. Prior to her appointment to Asia Society, Yun was the curator of the Hunter College Art Galleries. She has previously served as the project director of Cai Guo-Qiang’s studio and as a curatorial assistant in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, in addition to organizing numerous independently curated exhibitions. Ms. Yun is also a frequent lecturer on modern and contemporary Chinese art and has taught at SUNY New Paltz, Columbia University, and The Museum of Modern Art.  Her writings have been included in many publications, among them Patti Smith: 9.11 Babelogue, published in conjunction with her exhibition at Hunter College; Cai Guo-Qiang: I Want To Believe, published by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; entries in the Benezit Dictionary of Asian Artists and The Grove Dictionary of Art, Oxford University PressGreater New York, the 2003 exhibition organized by PS1 and The Museum of Modern Art; and Artforum International

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