Siah Armajani (Iranian, born 1939)
Cloth, pencil, ink, wood
31 3/4 x 29 7/8 in. (80.6 x 75.9 cm)
Purchase, 2011 NoRuz at the Met Benefit, 2012 (2012.109)
Since the 1960s, Siah Armajani has produced well over 100 public works—bridges, buildings, and monuments—between his native Iran, the U.S., and Europe. Shirt #1 contains talismanic texts, folk poetry, and verses by the Persian poet Hafez which Armajani handwrote onto the lining of one of his father's suit jackets. Produced shortly before he moved to the U.S., the talismanic piece was inspired by his trips through southern Tehran, where he witnessed the work of scribes and "spell-makers." The freedom of this calligraphic scrawl is characteristic of his early works.