Sumac Space

Dialogues Exhibitions About Artists' rooms

Exhibition Review / Zahra Zeinali, au-delà by Hamidreza Karami

Zahra Zeinali’s works offer a mesmerizing journey into the realm of dreams and imagination. Through the skillful use of dim and dark acrylic colors, they craft an ambiance that feels simultaneously enchanting and mysterious. Their unique style, featuring little girls encircled by an array of figures ranging from dolls and toys to animals, clowns, newborns, and even monsters, evokes a dreamlike fantasy that captivates the viewer’s senses.

With every brush stroke, the artist creates a delicate balance between innocence and eerie beauty. The incorporation of various elements within a single composition not only showcases their technical prowess but also speaks to a deeper narrative that lies within each piece. This juxtaposition of the familiar and the uncanny encourages contemplation and invites the audience to explore the complex emotions stirred by their art. One of the most striking aspects of Zeinali’s work is her exceptional use of color. Whether it is bold and vibrant hues that dominate her pieces in other periods of her works or the subtle and subdued shades she employs to convey mood in her latest series, her mastery of color theory is evident. Each stroke of her brush seems deliberate and purposeful, resulting in a harmonious interplay of tones that breathe life into her subjects.

Intricacy and attention to detail are hallmarks of Zahra Zeinali’s artworks. Upon closer examination, viewers are treated to a wealth of intricate patterns, textures, and hidden elements that enrich the visual experience. This attention to detail invites the observer to take their time exploring each piece, discovering new nuances with each gaze. The artist’s choice of subjects, especially the portrayal of little girls, adds an air of nostalgia and vulnerability to the artwork. The figures seem to be caught in a liminal space where reality and fantasy intertwine, blurring the lines between the conscious and subconscious. This lends a thought-provoking quality to their pieces, prompting viewers to reflect on the intricacies of childhood, memory, and the ethereal nature of dreams.

Zeinali’s ability to infuse her art with emotion is a testament to her skill as a storyteller. Her pieces are tales of longing, joy, and introspection, drawing viewers into a narrative that’s as captivating as it is relatable. This talent for evoking feelings is what truly makes her artworks come alive, transforming them from mere visual spectacles into windows to the soul.

However, what truly sets Zeinali apart is her unique perspective on both memory and the human experience. Her pieces often exude a sense of nostalgia, invoking memories and emotions long forgotten. Whether she is capturing the delicate beauty of a fading object or the quiet contemplation of a solitary figure, there’s an underlying depth to her work that resonates with audiences on a profound level.

In conclusion, her artworks are a tour de force of creativity and expression. With a keen eye for color, an unwavering dedication to detail, and an innate ability to tap into the human experience, she invites us on a journey. Zeinali’s pieces are not just static images; they’re living, breathing stories that beckon viewers to immerse themselves in her world of imagination and emotion. The artist’s masterful execution of acrylic techniques, combined with their thematic exploration of dreamscapes filled with figures and objects, forms a body of visually striking and emotionally evocative work. Their ability to conjure a sense of wonder while delving into the enigmatic corners of the mind is a testament to their artistic prowess, making their portfolio a must-see for those seeking to experience art that transcends conventional boundaries.

_ Hamidreza Karami
August 8, 2023

Hamidreza Karami (curator, researcher, art consultant, translator, writer, and visual artist), studied Visual Arts & Photography (B.A.) at the Faculty of Art and Architecture of Azad University, Tehran (2002-2006) and Philosophy of Art (M.A.) at the Tehran University of Art (2008-2010). He started his artistic activity in the fields of photography, video art, drawing, painting, and installation since the 2000s, and has exhibited his works in many individual and group exhibitions in Iran and abroad. Organizing and curating more than dozens of exhibitions of the works of modern and contemporary Iranian artists inside and outside the country is the result of his work as a curator during these years. He has also researched, translated and authored dozens of articles in the field of art. He collaborated in the compilation of a three-volume Encyclopedia of Art in Farsi (under the supervision of Ruyin Pakbaz at Farhang-e Moaser Publications), and has been a guest lecturer at the Tehran University of Arts since the early 2010s. Authoring the book Introduction to Modern and Contemporary Art of Iran, Turkey and the Arab World is his current project, which will be published by Contemporary Art Publications in collaboration with Lajevardi Foundation.


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