June 22–September 16, 2018

The Presence of Your Absence Is Everywhere: Afruz Amighi

Gordon Contemporary Artists Project Gallery

  • Afruz Amighi. My House, My Tomb, 2015. Steel, fiberglass mesh, chain, and light, 168 x 90 x 70 in. each. Courtesy of the artist. © Afruz Amighi. Photo: Jeffrey Sturges


This exhibition presents recent sculptures and drawings by the critically acclaimed artist Afruz Amighi, who was born in Iran in 1974 and has lived in the United States since 1977. Her work is in the permanent collection of major museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. In 2009, she received the inaugural Jameel Prize, the Victoria and Albert Museum’s prestigious international award for contemporary art and design inspired by the Islamic tradition. Using light and dark as her primary medium and telling stories in shadows, she creates sculptures made of industrial materials commonly found on urban construction sites. When illuminated, the sculptures defy their humble origins and mimic the effect of more decadent luxury objects, such as chandeliers, jewelry, and Persian metalwork. Recently, art deco architecture, Native American headdresses, and nuclear missiles have entered her repertoire of sources, alongside the art of the Middle East, as the artist engages with her mixed Iranian American heritage and current political events. The exhibition will include the suspended sculpture My House, My Tomb, which explores myths about the Taj Mahal and has never been exhibited in the United States.

“The presence of your absence is everywhere,” adapted from a letter by poet Edna St. Vincent Millay to Llewelyn Powys, April 20, 1931 from Letters of Edna St. Vincent Millay, ed. Allan Ross Macdougall (Camden, ME: Down East Books, 1952), courtesy of Holly Peppe, Literary Executor, Millay Society, millay.org.

The Frist Center gratefully acknowledges the support of the FRIENDS OF CONTEMPORARY ART.

Connect with us at #FristAmighi.

Organized by the Frist Center for the Visual Arts



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