MAC Maja Arte Contemporanea (via di Monserrato 30, Rome) is delighted to announce the opening of the "The Hunting", Iranian artist Leila Vismeh's (Arak, 1979) first Italian solo exhibition. The show will open on Friday May 6 2016 at 5:00 PM.
Ten large and medium-sized paintings will be on display. Vismeh started working on this collection in 2015, and she has already exhibited works from the same series successfully at Etemad Gallery in Tehran.
This collection was inspired by James Thurber's fairytale, "The Rabbits Who Caused all the Trouble" (1939). A group of animals are the main characters of the story, which focuses on the oppressive relationship between the rabbits and the wolves. The latter accuse the former of causing all of the world's calamities. The American writer uses the story to allude to the events that unfolded during the Second World War. The rabbits represent the Jewish people and the others who were oppressed at the hands of Nazi Germany. The other animals' indifference to what is happening portrays the role that other nations played as the Holocaust unfolded.
On her canvases, Vismeh replaces the wolves with the rooster, which, as a virile and aggressive fighter, is the Persian symbol for masculinity.
Thurber's allegorical fairytale is transformed by the painter into a powerful comment on the political situation in her homeland. Starting from the historical events that have taken place in Iran over time, Vismeh builds an evocative narrative of the different moments when its people had to live through hardships: the bombings, wars, and the obligatory removal and subsequent implementation of headscarves for women (the latter after the revolution in 1979).
As Helia Hamedani writes in her critical essay about the collection:
"The metaphorical story chosen by the Iranian painter addresses power struggles, diversity, and human rights with delicate irony. (...) Vismeh's chromatic composition - the dramatic use of white, black, and red - and sharp technique enhance this conceptual struggle. The animals are portrayed with colorful and almost expressionistic intensity. The human figures, instead, are often depicted in black and white, and underscore the allusions to historical events. They are static, as if caught in the frozen frame of a photograph."
LEILA VISMEH was born in 1979 in Arak (Iran). She earned a degree in visual arts from the Art Institute in Tehran in 2009. Since then, she has taken part in numerous collective exhibitions (in Iran, Dubai, Germany) and has won several awards and competitions (among which, First Place of Illustration in Culture and Art Competitions in Central Province; First Place of Designing and Painting in Culture and Art Competitions in Central Province; First Prize, Statuette, and Appreciation Tablet in 11th International Festival of Puppet Theatre of Iranian Students, etc). In 2011, she had her first solo show at Day Gallery in Tehran. In 2015, her second solo show was hosted by the prestigious Etemad Gallery in Tehran. She is a member of the Iranian Association of Artists and the Iranian Center for the Development of Visual Arts.