Shirt #1

Artist: Siah Armajani (Iranian, born Tehran, 1939)

Object Name: Sculpture

Date: 1958

Geography: Made in Iran

Medium: Cloth, pencil, ink, wood

Dimensions: H. 31 3/4 in. (80.6 cm)
W. 29 7/8 in. (76.2 cm)

Classification: Textiles-Painted and/or Printed

Credit Line: Purchase, 2011 NoRuz at The Met Benefit, 2012

Accession Number: 2012.109

Rights and Reproduction: © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


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.