Kamrooz Aram's first solo exhibition in New York is comprised of what the artist terms 'tree paintings,' derived from the patterns of Persian carpets. In this exhibition, Aram follows on his previous work, drawing from traditions of Islamic art and Western painting to chart an unstable center somewhere between reverence and disturbance regarding the conflicted status of his source materials. The work engages with the manner in which Persian carpet designs display various stages of a spiritual journey toward the ultimate garden of Paradise or Divine Unification, while remaining objects of consumption and a product of specific materials and economies.

Aram's work begins from the details of Persian carpets, photographed by the artist in the New York City carpet district. These patterns are then rendered onto canvases and from thin glazes to brushes thrown at the canvases from a distance, the painting process takes on an improvised and ritualistic matter with roots at once in the traditions of American abstract painting, while at the same time referencing Iranian and Arabic musical traditions in which distinct motifs form patterns and are improvised upon. Through this process, the carpet pattern heeds to a broader vocabulary of images ranging from miniaturesque clouds to military camouflage patterns. The final image is an accumulation of layers implying abstractions that de-center the carpets' intended narratives, losing them within a war-like landscape in which the original carpet patterns struggle with the process of the act of painting.

Reflecting this, the paintings are organic landscapes that cover an unstable line between abstraction and mimetic representation, seduction and repulsion, Eastern and Western representations of space, and at once an embrace of and disregard for traditions.

For further information or images please contact Oliver Kamm at 212-255-0979 or okamm@mac.com.

Oliver Kamm/5BE Gallery is located at 504 West 22nd Street, 2nd Floor. We are open Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 6.


Flash Art - Mixed Paint - A Survey of Contemporary Painters, 2004-November December

The New York Times - Kamrooz Aram, 2004-03-19

Kamrooz Aram: Beyond the Borders, Between the Trees

February 20 - March 27, 2004
Opens February 20 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

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