Avish Khebrehzadeh (Tehran, 1969) is an Iranian draftswoman, painter and photographer. Her artistic work explores the power of figures and their multifaceted narrative aspect in a range of media. She alternately creates both single works of drawing, painting, photography and video installations, as well as “composite” works, fusing multiple media together.
Raised in a family of intellectuals, Avish was trained in a cultural context that would later have a significant impact on her artistic vein as well. Avish Khebrehzadeh’s father was a teacher of Persian literature, while her mother was a great lover of poetry. The artist thus grew up in a home frequented by artists, writers, poets, and thinkers, discussing art and literature.
In the wake of the Iranian revolution, Avish left her country at a very young age and moved to Rome, where she undertook painting studies at the Academy of Fine Arts. She later moved to Washington DC, where she still lives and works today. As the New York Times also asserts, Khebrehzadeh belongs to a small group of Iranian “diaspora artists.” In her works and achievements, we may pick out what the cultural references are of her native land, and the melancholy inherent to a person who has traveled extensively, exploring various worlds and cultures.
In 2003, Avish participated in the Venice Art Biennale and received the Golden Lion as best young Italian artist. From an artistic point of view, Khebrehzadeh’s works start out from an Eastern vision of life and take on forms that are more akin to Western art and in particular Italian art, from which she took on the philosophy of Arte Povera. This vision results in a fine expressive simplicity that may be described as a kind of “refined childlike style.”
Exhibitions include those at MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome), the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Rhode Island, MAXXI (National Museum of 21st-Century Arts, Rome), and MONA (Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia).
In late 2018 and early 2019, M77 had the honor of presenting I Sing with My Tongue Silent: a solo exhibition by the artist curated by Danilo Eccher. The exhibition brought together works that witnessed and narrated the most significant techniques of the artist’s production. Specifically, the exhibition path placed the viewer in front of a large mural work created especially for M77 Gallery: an intricate forest of blue branches enveloped the space, absorbing the entire narrative scene and projecting the visitor into a suspended and restless atmosphere.