Arghavan Khosravi's potent paintings explore oppression and liberation

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Arghavan Khosravi's potent paintings explore oppression and liberation
Installation view of Arghavan Khosravi at the Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, New Hampshire, April 14 through September 5, 2022. Photo courtesy of the Currier Museum of Art.

MANCHESTER, NH.- The Currier Museum of Art is presenting the work of Iranian painter Arghavan Khosravi in her first museum exhibition. The artist creates surrealist images that explore themes of exile, suppression, and empowerment.

Drawn from the artist’s memories, the enigmatic compositions center on women protagonists and allude to the restriction of human rights, particularly those of immigrants. Her work is partly autobiographical – a visual manifestation of her feelings as an Iranian woman artist now living in the United States. At the same time, the work is universal in its presentation of shared struggles and emotions.

Arghavan Khosravi is on view from April 15 to September 5, 2022.

The exhibition features more than 20 works made over the last few years in a range of styles. In some, Khosravi uses printed textiles from Iran as canvas, weaving the patterns into compositions and subjects. In others, she experiments with three-dimensional components, building shaped wood panels that create optical illusions that augment the painted surfaces.

Khosravi draws on cross-cultural influences, from the symbol-laden statuary of ancient Western cultures to contemporary fashion magazines to the perspective of Persian miniature painting. “Arghavan Khosravi’s paintings are masterful in technique and draw the viewer in through richly detailed and stimulatingly symbolic compositions. Her work asks more than it answers, leaving room for the viewer to find themselves in her scenes,” says Samantha Cataldo, senior curator of contemporary art.

An exhibition catalogue is being produced and will be available later this spring.

Arghavan Khosravi (b. 1984, Shahr-e-kord, Iran) earned an MFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design after completing the studio art program at Brandeis University. Khosravi previously earned a BFA in Graphic Design from Tehran Azad University and an MFA in Illustration from the University of Tehran. Her work has been displayed internationally and is in several public and private collections.

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