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Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong
2015.11.25 Wed - 2016.01.09 Sat
Opening Exhibition
407 Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
Opening Hours
Tuesday - Friday, 10 AM - 6 PM; Saturday, 10 AM - 7 PM
Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin

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Shriazeh Houshiary at Lehmann Maupin Hong Kong, 25 November
[Press Release]

Resonance, 2015, painted stainless steel, 27.05 x 75.2 x 20.39 in, 68.7 x 191 x 51.8 cm. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong.

Hong Kong, November 12, 2015—Lehmann Maupin is pleased to present Through Mist, Shirazeh Houshiary’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong and her seventh show with the gallery. Through painting, sculpture, and animation, Houshiary plays with opposing ideas and states of being, including transparency and opacity, presence and absence, materiality and intangibility, and light and darkness, exploring the very nature of existence and metaphysical thought. The artist’s exhibition at the Hong Kong gallery debuts seven new works that address cross-sensory perception. Her paintings are meant to trigger the senses—not only sight, but touch, smell, taste, and sound as well—by registering associations with experience and memory. The paintings and wall sculpture attempt to articulate the infinite, a metaphysical reality that lies beyond the surfaces of her work. The artist will be present for an exhibition opening at the gallery on Wednesday, November 25 from 6-8PM.

Houshiary’s time-consuming artistic process involves the build-up of multiple layers of pigment, pattern, and line. This laborious and intricate technique involves placing the canvases on the floor of her studio and working from a horizontal viewpoint, meaning that the scale of her work is often informed by her own physical body. Given her use of pencil and pigment, the paintings appear almost transparent, yet the succession of layers gives a strong sense of depth and dimension. Houshiary’s work is meant to be experiential, and the viewer’s perception is of vital importance to understanding her subtle and detailed visual language.


In her latest paintings, Houshiary’s organic gestures manifest in diaphanous, sweeping marks that appear to undulate and vibrate across the surface of the canvas. The marks are an accumulation of tightly written and highly organized words obscured through repetition and overlap that create a mesh-like veil and give the works a feeling of flux and infinity. The luminous works call to mind associations with shifting atmospheres, migratory currents, fingerprints, and topographies.


Cast in stainless steel and coated in matte black paint, the wall sculpture Resonance is lit so that it creates no shadow, contrasting to the luminosity of Houshiary’s paintings. Resembling spiraling ribbons, Resonance reiterates the sense of the infinite, challenging perceptions of time, space, and presence.


Houshiary’s work presents a universal language, transcending cultural specificity. In reference to this unique viewpoint, curator Fereshteh Daftari has written, “Houshiary refuses to inhabit a ghetto either Western or Islamic and instead invents a new order alien to both. Her work suggests a stage prior to and beyond difference, in which everyone finds something they can recognize—the pulse of life, the trace of a self, something akin to the visualization of human presence. The signpost leading Houshiary to new territories and destinations are both Eastern (and not only Islamic) and Western (modernist).”** Veils, shrouds, and membranes, as well as gashes, ruptures, and chasms, are frequently depicted in her work. These motifs both visually and conceptually indicate a break where the viewer can see through or beyond the surface.


In March 2016, Houshiary will conclude her residency at the Singapore Tyler Print Institute with a solo exhibition. Her monumental painting Echo (2013) will also be included in the group exhibition Regarding Spirituality, curated by Leesa Fanning, at the Nelson-Atkins Museum in Kansas City, Missouri in 2018.


About the artist

Shirazeh Houshiary (b. 1955, Iran) moved to London in the early 1970s and graduated from the Chelsea School of Art in 1979, emerging with a group of artists that included Anish Kapoor and Richard Deacon. Houshiary, who was a Turner Prize nominee in 1994, has had solo and group exhibitions at the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2012); RISD Museum, Providence (2011); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); Tate Liverpool (2003); SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2002); the Camden Arts Centre, London (1993); among others. In 2013, Houshiary’s work was included in two collateral exhibitions at the 55th Venice Biennale, including a site-specific installation at La Torre di Porta Nuova, Arsenale Nord, and Glasstress 2013. The artist’s work was also featured in the Kiev Biennale (2012) and the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010). Houshiary’s work is in prestigious public collections including the British Council Collection, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Prato; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Modern, London, among others. The artist currently lives and works in London.


About Lehmann Maupin

Founded in 1996 by partners Rachel Lehmann and David Maupin, Lehmann Maupin has fostered the careers of a diverse group of internationally renowned artists, both emerging and established, working in multiple disciplines and across varied media. With three locations—two in New York and one in Hong Kong—the gallery represents artists from the United States, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East. Known for championing artists who create groundbreaking and challenging forms of visual expression, Lehmann Maupin presents work highlighting personal investigations and individual narratives through conceptual approaches that often address such issues as gender, class, religion, history, politics, and globalism.