Museum Pun, Maryam Abedi

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Artist introduction

Born in 1986, Maryam Abedi grew up in Tehran, Iran. She initially studied Graphic Design at University of Tehran (2005-2010), turning to painting when she lived in New York for two years and studied at New York Academy of Art (2011-2013). She also Studied Museum Studies at Tehran University of Art (2016-2019). She attended the Pilotenkueche International Art residency program in Leipzig, Germany (2018).

Her first solo exhibition was at Iranian Artist Forum in 2016, and her following exhibitions have included the 2017 piecing together and 2019 String Course, Iranshahr gallery, and 2022 If Like the Lord I had Control Over the Firmament, Assar Gallery (Iran).

Regchin - Iranshahr Gallery, 2018
Regchin – Iranshahr Gallery, 2018
If Like the Lord, I had Control Over the Firmament…On the occasion of Maryam Abedi’s solo exhibition in Assar Gallery, 20222
If Like the Lord, I had Control Over the Firmament…
On the occasion of Maryam Abedi’s solo exhibition in Assar Gallery, 2022

Besides being an artist, Maryam Abedi pursued an MA in museum studies. In her MA thesis, she has investigated the interaction of museums with contemporary art so that the potential of contemporary art can be utilized to make the museums and what they are involved in more dynamic.Abedi is known through artworks created by cutting and dismantling the canvas to stripes and then weaving these strips to attain geometric and architectural configurations. Yet, her creations are neither sculptures nor architectural fabrications, neither paintings nor carpet-weaving, nor feminine handicrafts. Rather, they situate themselves somewhere in between all these mediums of artistic expression, a place where the form of Iranian arches and brickwork interlaces with the aesthetics of the traditions of Eastern and Western religious architecture and creates, from the point of view of structure and form, artworks denoting no specific time.

Artist works

Maryam Abedi’s work proceeds from various experiences of setting things side by side: arrays of canvas pieces; the tradition of figurative and abstract painting; “feminine: and “masculine” artistic conventions; painting, sculpture, and installation art; and collage and assemblage. Her personal style preserves and cherishes traditional achievements of painting, rendering them with reverent care and insight. Her allusion to the act of painting is also evident in her coloring technique: She supplements an abstract structure with textures and brush strokes of traditional figurative oil painting, thus bringing together painterly and minimal attitudes.

The boundaries between categories of artistic conventions are blurred and discarded as a new approach emerges which is simultaneously modest and assertive. It evokes patchworks and carpet making on the one hand, and Baroque tones and hues on the other, thereby conjuring up humble needlework and grand historical art at the same time. All these can be placed together and produce novel patterns and significances by means of a method that seeks to provide ample opportunities to continue the ancient painting tradition through a reunion with another age-old tradition: carpet-making and its full internal vigor.

Maryam Abedi: “My works has their roots in the history of painting. The process behind my paintings is important for me. This process focuses on different subject matters within painting, such as the idea of canvas as a support material. The result is minimal paintings with horizontal and vertical lines. These lines have been created by folded canvas strips that have been weaved together. The idea of my technique comes from two different sources; first one the fact that I beside my artistic practice, work as a cloth designer and also making clothes and second, from the tradition of carpet making which I have a close relation to and also has a deep root in my home country Iran.”

Museum Pun

As part of the Malek Museum, the hall of Art and Life has taken shape based on tracing the diverse forms of art in Iranian culture and way of life, and how art has always participated in an intercultural dialogue, a dialogue between the past and the contemporary world at any time. So this hall and exhibition is able to ignite and inspire contemporary artistic dialogue. In interaction and collaboration with the contemporary artist Maryam Abedi, an event entitled “Museum Pun” has been organized in the hall of Art and Life.

Being a turning point in the idea forming the hall of Art and Life (that is, redefining the Iranian home/residence as an exhibition of history, geography, beliefs, designs and even relations with other cultures, ethnicities and religions), this characteristic provides a novel narrative through exhibiting the works of Maryam Abedi among the museum objects where, together, they invite us to reflect again upon the interweaving of the threads of the lives of the people inhabiting our land in the past, present and future.

Museum Pun is a project in which the contemporary artwork is set up and displayed among the museum objects. In this space, the museum is read as a text in which the consonance of the museum objects and contemporary artworks encourages the formation of diverse meanings. In other words, here the hall and exhibition of Art and Life acts as a mediator that evokes the sense of mystery in a rhymed juxtaposition through which the beauty of things is displayed alongside our day-to-day reality.

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Tags: Art, Artist introduction, Artists' works, Malek Museum, Maryam Abedi, Museum Pun

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