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Amir H. Fallah at Shulamit Nazarian
September 12, 2020 - October 31, 2020(All times are in PDT)
At Shulamit Nazarian in Hollywood, Amir H. Fallah’s new paintings cull references from various histories and cultures to create compositions that read like narrative tapestries. Figures pulled from Iranian culture (where the artist was born) sit alongside Greek architecture or scenes of Americana. Out-of-date maps detail geographies that have long been debunked. Beautifully rendered patterns and florals are punctuated by cartoony woodland creatures that the artist appropriates from his son’s children’s books. Fallah commandeers the style of each reference he renders — some images are painted in flat graphic shapes, while others appear hyperrealistic.
Previous work of Fallah’s has often delved into portraiture, painting a subject shrouded and surrounded by their belongings. Here, Fallah has removed the central figure and instead created a map of his own cultural influences; from his childhood in Iran, to his involvement in U.S. skater culture, to American histories that here read like propaganda.
The gallery writes, “Each painting serves as a diary of lessons, warnings, and ideals that the artist wants to pass on to his son and together become a site map, providing coded insight into the formation of an identity while investigating the cultural values passed between generations.”