Amir H. Fallah: The Fallacy of Borders at the Fowler Museum and Strings of Desire at Craft Contemporary, featuring Ken Gun Min, are both currently highlighted on The Art Newspaper's "Eight Must-See Exhibitions to See During Frieze Los Angeles."
Amir H. Fallah: The Fallacy of Borders
Fowler Museum, until May 14th
Amir H. Fallah, An Invisible Line, 2022. Acrylic on canvas. 72 x 96 in. Image Courtesy of The Artist and Shulamit Nazarian, Los Angeles.
Los-Angeles based artist Amir H. Fallah has always taken the “more-is-more” approach to painting. “I really just try to cram everything in there that I can,” he says. It stands to reason, then, that his first institutional solo exhibition in the city feels like a love letter to maximalism itself, a meditation on the electric noise of an increasingly interconnected age. Born in Tehran at the height of the Islamic Revolution, Fallah mines the diasporic Iranian American experience through the spirit of remix, drawing on traditions as disparate as 17th-century Flemish still-lifes and graffiti to achieve a vibrant depth of meaning in his work. According to curator Amy Landau, the director of interpretation and education at the Fowler Museum, Fallah “narrates from trauma and celebration, as well as his roles as a husband, father and confidant, which lends a deeply humane aspect to his social critique”.
STRINGS OF DESIRE
Craft Contemporary, until May 7th
Strings of Desire, installation view, 2023. Courtesy of Craft Contemporary. Photo: Ian Byers-Gamber.
This exhibition gathers many strands of contemporary embroidery, a thread running through the work of the 13 featured artists showing a desire to convey identity and connectivity via their practices. For many of the participants, embroidery is a material and symbolic expression of experiences that are multifaceted or hybrid. With Ken Gun Min, for instance, his Korean heritage, experiences of coming of age in Europe and the US, queer identity and an omnivorous visual lexicon result in rich tapestries that combine fabric patterns, anatomical drawings, animals, landscapes and hybrid figures.
For many of the featured artists, embroidery is not only a symbol of connection but also a vessel for it. In the case of Ardeshir Tabrizi and Jordan Nasser, traditional textile crafts link them to their Persian and Palestinian heritage, respectively. The Los Angeles-based artist Miguel Osuna does much of his embroidery during Zoom calls with his mother, who lives in Mexico, the shared activity allowing them to connect and share tactile experiences across great distances.