Kamrooz Aram, Winning Artist, Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014
Ancient Through Modern: A Collection of Uncertain Objects, Part 1, Mixed media, dimensions variable (approximately 244 x 434 x 56 cm)
‘Ancient Through Modern: A Collection of Uncertain Objects, Part 1’ is a wall installation consisting of painting, ceramics and collage arranged to echo the displays in popular museums such as the Louvre in Paris, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, or the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Taking cultural nostalgia as its subject, this work investigates how museums, and the objects treasured within them, serve a longing for mythical pasts and support claims of origin. Simultaneously, the aesthetic regime of Modernism is privileged, considered the apex of the visual art of our time. Kamrooz Aram blurs the distance between ancient and modern, manufactured and made, revealing the persistence of archetypal forms and the irrationality of cultural value as it is ascribed to material objects.
Antiques and antiquities are placed in visual unity with replicas of such objects, commissioned from skilled makers such as the Iznik Foundation in Turkey, or bought from museum shops. A bowl from Kashan, for example, is displayed in a similar manner to a mid-century modern Danish piece designed by Marianne Starck, from her Persia Glaze series; a glaze with a crackling effect used in combination with a blue glaze that evokes the cobalt blues of Persian ceramics. In the backdrop, paintings and framed paper collage works reference stark Suprematist forms and the aesthetic conventions of high Modernism.
Kamrooz Aram received his MFA from Columbia University in 2003. Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Kamrooz Aram/Julie Weitz at The Suburban, Chicago, Illinois (2013); Brute Ornament: Kamrooz Aram and Seher Shah, curated by Murtaza Vali, at Green Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2012); Negotiations at Perry Rubenstein Gallery, New York, New York (2011); Generation After Generation, Revolution after Revelation at LAXART, Los Angeles, California (2010) and Kamrooz Aram: Realms and Reveries at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams, Massachusetts (2006).
He has shown in numerous group exhibitions including Roundabout, City Gallery Wellington, New Zealand Kamrooz Aram (b. 1978, Shiraz) (2010); the Busan Biennale (2006); P.S.1/MoMA’s Greater New York 2005; and the Prague Biennale I (2003). Aram has been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2004) and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program (2001-2003). His work has been widely featured and reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum. com, ArtAsiaPacific, The New Yorker, The National and Bidoun. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. Kamrooz Aram is represented by Green Art Gallery, Dubai.