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Artist of The Day | Monir Farmnfarmaian

Monir Farmnfarmaian

Untitled (Nonagon)


Mirror and reverse glass painting on plexiglass

11 4/5 in diameter


Born in Qazvin, Iran, Monir in 1924, Farmanfarmaian attended the Faculty of Fine Art in Tehran in 1946. She left her native Iran during World War II when she was in her early twenties, first to study art at Cornell University in 1951, and later fashion illustration at the Parsons School of Design, New York. She was one of the first Iranian students to move to America after the War. While living in New York Farmanfarmaian befriended Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Joan Mitchell as well as the inner curatorial circle of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She returned to her native country to marry, and continued to make Minimalist and Abstract Expressionist works. She visited the Shah Cheraq Shrine in Shiraz and experienced an epiphany which would come to inform her artistic practice for the rest of her life. She said of the experience, "imagine stepping inside the center of a diamond and staring at the sun". The reflective glass shapes became the inspiration for the lustrous sculpture she has become best known for. Incorporating conventional reverse glass painting and ideas of Islamic geometry with a contemporary sensability, she presents both a detailed craft and concerns for abstraction. The mirror mosaic, a feature most characteristic of her work, derives from an Iranian decorative form known as 'aineh-kari'. She has held solo exhibitions in San Francisco, London, Houston, Dubai, and Tokyo, and has been included in a number of group exhibitions across the globe. In 2012, she was awarded the 'Jameel Art Prize' from the Casa Arabe in Madrid, and 2011 won the same prize from the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

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