Written Iran

Siah Armajani Iranian

Not on view

This drawing offers a pastiche of Iranian landscapes. Architectural elements punctuate the drawing; some are iconic such as the two-tiered Khaju Bridge in Isfahan, and others archetypal, such as the domed yakhchals used in antiquity to store ice in the desert. Persian script—specifically, poems by seven seminal poets—weaves the structures together to create a single topography of language, memory, and architectural form. At the far right of the drawing appears the name of Nima Yushij (1896–1960), considered the founder of "new poetry" and remembered, in part, for incorporating vernacular speech and addressing the plight of Iran’s poor and politically oppressed. The name and works of five poets influenced by his writing appear subsequently as one moves from right to left. At the far left appears the name and writings of a contemporary of Nima. They lived on opposite sides of the country, and although they cultivated very different styles, they had enormous respect for one another and walked to meet each other in the middle.

Written Iran, Siah Armajani (Iranian, Tehran 1939–2020 Minneapolis, Minnesota), Marker ink, colored pencil and graphite on Mylar

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