© Kamrooz Aram

Beyons the Borders 3, 2003
Oil on Canvas, 60" x 84"

Kamrooz Aram
Beyond the Borders, Between the Trees

Kamrooz Aram's first solo exhibition in New York is comprised of what the artist terms "tree paintings" derived from the patterns of Persian carpets. In this exhibition, Aram follows on his previous work, drawing from traditions of Islamic art and Western painting to chart an unstable center somewhere between reverence and disturbance regarding the conflicted status of his source materials. The work engages with the manner in which Persian carpet designs display various stages of a spiritual journey toward the ultimate garden of Paradise or Divine Unification, while remaining objects of consumption and a product of specific materials and economies.

Aram's work begins from the details of Persian carpets, photographed by the artist in the New York City carpet district. These patterns are then rendered onto canvases and from thin glazes to brushes thrown at the canvases from a distance, the painting process takes on an improvised and ritualistic matter with roots at once in the traditions of American abstract painting, while at the same time referencing Iranian and Arabic musical traditions in which distinct motifs form patterns and are improvised upon. Through this process, the carpet pattern heeds to a broader vocabulary of images ranging from miniaturesque clouds to military camouflage patterns. The final image is an accumulation of layers implying abstractions that de-center the carpets' intended narratives, losing them within a war-like landscape in which the original carpet patterns struggle with the process of the act of painting.

Reflecting this, the paintings are organic landscapes that cover an unstable line between abstraction and mimetic representation, seduction and repulsion, Eastern and Western representations of space, and at once an embrace of and disregard for traditions.

Exhibition: February 20 - March 27, 2004

Oliver Kamm - 5BE Gallery
504 West 22nd Street, 2nd Floor
USA-New York, NY 10011
Telephone +1 212 255-0979
Email okamm@mac.com