Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was born in Qazvin, Iran in 1924. Her work has been exhibited all over the world including the Museum of Modern Art, Hans der Hunst, Munich, Leighton Houe Museum and Ota Fine Art in Tokyo, amongst many other institutions and galleries. She has lived in Paris, Tehran and New York and was even part of the New York Art Students’ League. She participated in the Venice Biennale 3 times, the Bienal de São Paulo and also the Asia Pacific Triennal of Contemporary Art. She attended the faculty of Fine Art in Tehran, Parsons School of Design, and Cornell University.
“Trapped in a prison, in a prism of light
Alone in the darkness, darkness of white” – Reflector, Arcade Fire.
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian has an art practice that spans over 50 years. She cites a vist with Robert Morris to the Shah Cheragh Shrine as the first inspiration to devote her practice to manipulating light and form through the use of mirrored glass. Farmanfamaian executes a traditional Iranian technique of reverse glass painting in combination with mosaic mirrors to produce elaborate and decorative sculptures that simultaneously share a relationship to minimalist aesthetics and divine cosmology. Farmanfarmaian combines decorative strategies with simplicity of materials.
If you divide a circle at three points, it will be a triangle. In Islamic design the triangle is the intelligent human being. If you divide the circle at four points, it will be a square, and it can be North, South, West and East. Each element has a meaning in Islamic design. The five sides of the pentagon are the five senses. The six sides of the hexagon are the directions, forward, backward, right, left, up, down. The hexagon also reflects the six virtues: generosity, self-discipline, patience, determination, insight and compassion.
She continued to explain that Sol Lewitt had the square and she champions the hexagon. It’s apparent from her multifarious life’s work that she has championed much more than just the hexagon. Perhaps she has conquered the successful sculptural synthesis of symbolic decoration and architectural form.
See more of Monir Shahroudy Farmanfamaian’s work Here.