Abi Abi

Hadieh Shafie Iranian-American

Not on view

From a distance, Hadieh Shafie’s canvases appear as decorative fields of colored circles. Closer up, we see the circles are actually small scrolls of paper, hand-painted with text, rolled tightly around a central dowel, and finally mounted side-by-side. These pieces come from Shafie’s memories of the period following the 1979 revolution, when texts became highly censored. After coming to the US in 1983, she began producing her own scrolls, rolling them into tight coils to hide the text, and arranging them into abstract compositions. In this piece, the circular format is suggestive of the sama’, a celestial dance depicted in many Persian manuscript paintings.

Abi Abi, Hadieh Shafie (Iranian, born Tehran, 1969), Ink and acrylic on paper

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