M77 Gallery presents I Sing with My Tongue Silent, a solo exhibition from the Iranian artist Avish Khebrehzadeh. Born in Tehran in 1969, Avish is part of the group of artists from the Iranian diaspora: raised in a family of Persian intellectuals who greatly influenced her artistic education, she left her country at a very young age at the outbreak of the revolution and moved to Rome, the city where she started studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts. She later moved to Washington DC, USA, where she still lives and works.
In 2003, she participated in the Venice Bienniale, where she was awarded the Golden Lion for Best Young Artist.
M77's exhibition in Milan, curated by Danilo Eccher, puts together an extraordinary journey developed over the two floors of the gallery in Via Mecenate, displaying around thirty pieces which show some of the most significant media that the artist uses: oil on canvas, drawings and video installations.
The exhibition starts on the ground floor with a series of paintings set in the context of a large mural work, created site-specifically for M77 Gallery, depicting a night-time landscape. A tangled forest of blue branches envelops the space, absorbing the entire narrative scene and projecting the visitor into a suspended and restless atmosphere.
Upstairs, on the other hand, there is a 'spider's web' of red portraits and drawings, an artistic practice close to the heart of Avish Khebrehzadeh who, through a meandering, ambiguous and seemingly infantile line, creates a fairytale world in which her characters convey a sense of being fragile and, at the same time, sweetly natural.
Whilst in her painting the story mainly plays out on the material and compositional plane, based on the magnetism of the colours and references, in her drawings the artist's visionary nature becomes truly, entirely free: on paper, Avish—using subtle strokes—creates stories which are inspired in part by Western culture, where the artist trained, and in part by the Eastern culture of her homeland. In her drawing, Avish Khebrehzadeh abandons herself completely to the narrative, allowing it to flow out spontaneously in a succession of marks which force the artist to abandon the fixity of the paper.
It is this longing to give continuity to her gestures that gives rise to the video installations which have greatly conditioned her style, a need to follow the movements of the images and allowing them to tell the complete story of the drawing by breaking out of the boundaries of the single sheet of paper.
The art of Avish Khebrehzadeh is the result of continuous experimentation, meticulous research in which painting, drawing, animation and spatiality coexist in a single linguistic impasse from which a sophisticated and visionary narrative is created. In her works, the artist allows two dimensions of human sensitivity to communicate: on the one hand, daily life, made up of intimacy, simplicity and recurring situations, and on the other, a more idealistic and dreamlike dimension.
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with a critical text by Danilo Eccher and will be open to the public from Tuesday 20 November 2018 until Saturday 2 February 2019.
Courtesy M77, PCM Studio