Siah Armanjani – An Ingenious World – at the Parasol unit

16 November 2013 § Leave a comment

The Parasol unit, located next door to Victoria Miro in trendy Hoxton, should always be on everyones must-see list. A not-for-profit art institution it has a philosophy of total commitment to artists and their creative endeavour and rightfully lauded for its forward-thinking and challenging exhibition programme.

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The latest exhibition is the first major UK survey of Iran-born, American artist, Siah Armajani, an artist that I must confess I knew little about. He is however internationally known for his extensive public art commissions, which include bridges, reading rooms and poetry gardens.

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The most appealing part of this exhibition are the wonderful architectural constructions and models, although it does also feature some of his earlier works on paper. Ranging from a small building – the Alfred Whitehead Reading Room, which was been specifically created for the courtyard of the Parasol unit to tiny table top designs these constructions are an endless delight.

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Drawing on his main themes of house or bridge the idea always has priority over function. Downstairs the exhibition features larger installations, whilst on the first floor a large room is occupied by literally dozens of these models.

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Whether a wide covered bridge that narrows into a minuscule exit, a railway bridge that ends in a T-junction with a road or another bridge that features a sharp central point as it avoids a pine tree beneath they are witty, thoughtful and fascinating. Large or small, each is beautifully constructed in polished, tinted or painted woods.

Siah Armanjani is at Parasol unit until 15 December 2013

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Born 1939 in Tehran, Siah Armajani now lives and works in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

Siah Armajani: An Ingenious World is accompanied by a comprehensive book, published by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art. A related programme of educational events and workshops, highlighting the Alfred Whitehead Reading Room, will include creative writing, poetry, lectures and, on 19 September 2013, an artist talk with Siah Armajani. Curated by Ziba Ardalan, Founder/ Director, Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art.

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