|Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian. Porto 24.|
Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian's sculptures at the Newcomb Art Gallery during New Orleans' international art festival, Prospect.3, are like giant gemstones. She creates abstract geometric shapes based on traditional Persian architecture, then encrusts them with reflective mosaics made from thousands of small, precisely cut mirror fragments. On one hand her sculptures have the cool cerebral quality of minimalism, but their glimmering surfaces lend them an irresistible gaiety as well.
Born in 1924, Farmanfarmaian has seen a lot of history go by. According to Internet references, World War II prevented her from traveling to Paris to study art as she had hoped, so she attended art schools in New York during the advent of the abstract expressionist movement, becoming friends with avant-garde stars such as Joan Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, Jackson Pollock and eventually Andy Warhol. By 1958 she was a star herself, representing Iran in the Venice Biennale, the international art event that is the model for Prospect.3. Her career flourished in Iran until the 1979 Islamic Revolution, when much of her work was destroyed and she returned to New York.
|Mirrored geometric sculptures by Iranian artist Monir Farmanfarmaian (L: Instagram photo by Doug MacCash / NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune; R: Courtesy Newcomb Art Gallery)|