The current exhibition presents the concluding artworks of the late Farideh Lashai’s (1944-2014) oeuvre in five video installations. These works incorporate her artistic life: as an abstract painter, playful experimenter with new technologies and intellectual who excelled in bringing her aesthetic genius closer to her role as a writer, thinker, and translator. A prominent figure in global Modern art history, Lashai’s career was rooted in her primary education in German studies and translation. She then successfully practised design, later culminating her multifaceted artistic practice as an abstract painter.
Farideh Lashai: Afloat Over Undulations presents a seamless balance between her conceptual and historical thinking and the ever-present beauty of colour and brushstrokes. Thought-provoking work titles and video loops frame indices of painterly ventures. A playful animated rabbit leads us across works, through different times and landscapes, bringing lightness and innocence integral to the desiring curiosity of an artist's endeavours.
Passing through and beyond the political conditions of Lashai's time, the protagonist rabbit escapes into daydreaming, staring at the ungraspable, undulating reflection of moonlight. Leading further down the rabbit hole, a Cheshire cat appearing in the gestalt of the artist's native country, stares out at the viewer with mocking eyes. Lashai's ethical and aesthetic desires crystalize in her homage to Charlie Chaplin and Umm-Kulthum in the video installation, El Amal (The Desire), at the entrance to the exhibition room. The works in the exhibition are accompanied by some quotations from Lashai's best-seller, The Jackal Came, written in Persian, with an English translation forthcoming.
This exhibition is organised by Abu Dhabi Art in collaboration with the Photography Studio, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Farideh Lashai Foundation, Basel Switzerland and Leila Heller Gallery