Monir Farmanfarmaian and Nima Nabavi

The Third Line, Dubai / UAE

September 24–November 3, 2018
September 28, 2018
The Third Line
Al Quoz 1

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Gallery 1
Monir Farmanfarmaian: The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You

The Third Line is pleased to present The Breeze at Dawn Has Secrets to Tell You, a solo exhibition featuring Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian’s most recent body of work. While they continue to draw from Islamic cosmology, mathematics and Sufi mystic philosophies, Monir’s mixed-media installations define a new step in the artist’s ever-evolving practice as she for the first time experiments with kinetic art.

Monir’s mirror mosaic representations of geometrical figures are framed by curtains of reverse-painted plexiglass strands that one imagines could oscillate in the wind. Suspended from the frame of several works are pendants that mirror the geometrical shapes of the works from which they hang. Drawn from Monir’s childhood memories of her nanny wearing a microscopic Quran page medallion pinned to her sleeve, these adornments remind us of the sacred geometry principles that have been at the core of the artist’s practice for the past five decades. Each of the shapes possesses mathematical attributes and consequently, its own meaning. Thus, the triangle becomes a symbol of harmony representing the soul and the three forms of action: mental, physical and verbal, while the square is synonymous with stability, the four cardinal points and the four seasons.

To take a closer look at the reflective surfaces that host the various geometrical shapes is to realize that the mirror has been shattered in what seems like the ultimate gesture materializing both Monir’s avant-garde practice and her forever young and playful spirit. The fragmented planes also hint at the historical origins of the mirror mosaics used in Iranian architecture: in the 18th century, mirrors imported from Europe that arrived broken were salvaged by local craftsmen, who reassembled cracked elements into patterns imitating traditional Iranian tiles.

Also on display will be 2018 iterations of Monir’s famed 1970s Mirror Ball works—spherical sculptures comprising myriads of hand-cut mirror elements inspired by the sight of children playing football in the streets of Tehran.

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Third Line will screen Monir, a documentary that explores the artist’s life and practice and uncovers how she came to be one of the most influential and innovative practitioners in the Middle East. Monir is directed by Bahman Kiarostami and produced by Leyla Fakhr.

Gallery 2
Nima Nabavi: 1, 2, 3

The Third Line is pleased to present 1, 2, 3, the first solo exhibition of Nima Nabavi at the gallery. Influenced by geometric abstraction, numeric symbolism and their connection to the natural world, Nima creates meticulous grids of ink on archival paper and in so doing, reveals the inherent beauty of our shared reality.

1, 2, 3 takes its name from the number of series present in Nima’s exhibited works: Series 1, completed over the course of five months, is comprised of 16 works where black and white grids move from the edges towards the center of each work, gradually gaining in density. Series 2 marks a progression from the previous body with the introduction of color—eight different hues appear in each work in various sequences, resulting in polychromatic ripple effects. The third and final series is a synthesis of the elements found in the previous two: color, thickness, movement and size come together to replicate methods and patterns found in living systems.

Much like in the natural world, Nima’s process resides in the use of one fundamental, irreducible element repeated into a larger motif. Each work thus becomes a self-imposed equation—a mental challenge that requires a meditative, repetitive execution. Inspired by his grandfather, a self-taught artist who used to draw endless grids, Nima’s practice also stems from interests in meditation, visions reported with altered states of consciousness, vibrational phenomena studies and quantum mechanics.

About The Third Line
The Third Line is a Dubai based art gallery that represents contemporary Middle Eastern artists locally, regionally and internationally. 

Represented artists include: Abbas Akhavan, Ala Ebtekar, Amir H. Fallah, Arwa Abouon, Babak Golkar, Farah Al Qasimi, Farhad Moshiri, Fouad Elkoury, Golnaz Fathi, Hassan Hajjaj, Hayv Kahraman, Huda Lutfi, Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige, Laleh Khorramian, Lamya Gargash, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Pouran Jinchi, Rana Begum, Sahand Hesamiyan, Sara Naim, Sherin Guirguis, Shirin Aliabadi, Slavs and Tatars, Sophia Al-Maria, Tarek Al-Ghoussein, Youssef Nabil and Zineb Sedira.

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