You must first login or register to follow this artist.

Golnaz Fathi Biography

Golnaz Fathi is a contemporary Iranian artist recognised for her reinterpretations of traditional Persian calligraphy. While most known for her pen- or acrylic-on-canvas works characterised by intricate lines and gestural brush strokes, she also engages with other media, including LED light and video installations.

Read More

Born in 1972 in Tehran, Fathi came of age in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution (1978–1979) and Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988). From such tumult she has developed a practice consisting of contemplative work that often offers a sense of stillness and harmony. In the 1990s, while studying graphic design at Tehran's Azad University, she developed a fascination with traditional Persian calligraphy, and went on to receive a diploma from the Iranian Society of Calligraphy. She is one of the few female Iranian artists to have been formally trained in calligraphy—the field remains heavily dominated by men.

Seeking to expand the discipline's traditional boundaries, Fathi utilises a technique based on siah-mashq—an exercise where a calligrapher writes repeatedly until the paper is covered with black ink. The artist similarly envelops her canvases in black pools that, upon closer inspection, are revealed to be thin, interwoven lines. When she paints, her brush strokes evoke the gestural marks found in American Abstract Expressionism or Persian script. They are, in fact, illegible. This allows the audience to devise their own meanings and she seldom titles her work in order to maintain this openness.

While her paintings are open to interpretation, Fathi also responds to contemporary concerns. The works included in her solo exhibition Falling Leaves at The Third Line, Dubai, in 2013, for example, are based on Shahnameh, an epic Persian poem written by Ferdowsi between circa 977 and 1010. By combining figurative lithographic illustrations with calligraphic strokes, she draws parallels between the futility of wars in Shahnameh and present-day conflicts in Iran and the Middle East at large.

Fathi also experiments with three-dimensional and digital media. An untitled Plexiglas box from 2013 is lit by LED lights, revealing grids of soft undulating blue lines against a black background. In 2014, the artist exhibited her videos, Let's Blow Them Away and Dance Me to the End of Night, in which her trademark gestural lines come to life. She explored unconventional supports in 2018, painting on aluminium composite panels with their corners and other sections laser-cut away. Such untitled works were included in her solo presentation Let's Pretend Everything is Alright at Sundaram Tagore New York, in 2019.

Selected solo exhibitions include A Long Line Without a Word, Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai (2018); Contemplations, Sundaram Tagore Singapore (2016); and Dance Me to the End of Night, October Gallery, London (2014). Group shows include Frontiers Reimagined, a collateral event of the 56th Venice Biennale (2015); and The Decorated Word: Writing and Picturing in Islamic Calligraphy, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2019). Her works are in the collections of the Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore; the British Museum, London; Brighton & Hove Museum; Carnegie Mellon University, Doha; The Farjam Foundation, Dubai; the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art; among others.

Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2019

Golnaz Fathi
featured artworks

View 19 More
'Cause we are the champions... by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork painting
Golnaz Fathi 'Cause we are the champions..., 2023 Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
170 x 130 cm
October Gallery Request Price & Availability
No rain will put out this fire... by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork painting, works on paper
Golnaz Fathi No rain will put out this fire..., 2022 Acrylic and spray paint on canvas
130 x 170 cm
October Gallery Request Price & Availability
Untitled [020] by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork painting, drawing, mixed media
Golnaz Fathi Untitled [020], 2011 Pen and varnish on canvas
180 x 180 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork painting
Golnaz Fathi Untitled, 2021 Mixed media on canvas
35.4 x 82.7 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork painting
Golnaz Fathi Untitled, 2021 Mixed media on canvas
35.4 x 82.7 inches
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Request Price & Availability
Untitled [015] by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork works on paper, drawing
Golnaz Fathi Untitled [015], 2009 Pen and varnish on canvas
180.1 x 225 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork painting
Golnaz Fathi Untitled, 2017 Acrylic, pen and varnish on canvas
170 x 115 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Request Price & Availability
Untitled by Golnaz Fathi contemporary artwork works on paper
Golnaz Fathi Untitled, 2015 Ballpoint pen and varnish on canvas
170 x 118 cm
Sundaram Tagore Gallery Request Price & Availability
View 19 More

Golnaz Fathi
current & recent
exhibitions

View 19 More
View 19 More

Represented by these
Ocula Member Galleries

Pearl Lam Galleries contemporary art gallery in Pedder Street, Hong Kong
Pearl Lam Galleries Hong Kong, Shanghai
Sundaram Tagore Gallery contemporary art gallery in New York, New York, United States
Sundaram Tagore Gallery London, New York, Singapore
View 19 More
Learn more about the market for works
by Golnaz Fathi.
Enquire for a confidential discussion. Enquire Now
Simon Fisher, Ocula CEO
Ocula Advisor
Simon Fisher
Christoper Taylor, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Christopher Taylor
Eva Fuchs, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Eva Fuchs
Rory Mitchell, Ocula Advisor
Ocula Advisor
Rory Mitchell
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Follow Golnaz Fathi
Stay ahead.
Receive updates on new artworks,
exhibitions and articles.
Your personal data is held in accordance with our privacy policy.
Follow
Do you have an Ocula account?
Ocula discover the best in contemporary art icon.
Get Access
Join Ocula to request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Do you have an Ocula account? Login
What best describes your interest in art?

Subscribe to our newsletter for upcoming exhibitions, available works, events and more.
By clicking Sign Up or Continue with Facebook or Google, you agree to Ocula's Terms & Conditions. Your personal data is held in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you for joining us. Just one more thing...
Soon you will receive an email asking you to complete registration. If you do not receive it then you can check and edit the email address you entered.
Close
Thank you for joining us.
You can now request price and availability of artworks, exhibition price lists and build a collection of favourite artists, galleries and artworks.
Close
Welcome back to Ocula
Enter your email address and password below to login.
Reset Password
Enter your email address to receive a password reset link.
Reset Link Sent
We have sent you an email containing a link to reset your password. Simply click the link and enter your new password to complete this process.
Login