Amir H. Fallah

Amir H. Fallah

The Arrangement

June 19 - July 30, 2013

Circling The World To Return _2013_Acrylic , Collage And Pencil On Paper Mounted On Canvas _152.4 Cm Diamter

The Third Line is pleased to welcome back Amir H. Fallah, who will be exhibiting a selection of works in the Project Space, with a solo show to follow in December this year. In The Arrangement, Fallah works with mixed media and collage as his signature style, presenting works of floral arrangements appropriated from the Dutch/Flemish renaissance tradition of floral still-life painting.

For this project, Fallah studied the floral still life paintings of the Golden Age and used iconic visual vocabulary to merge them with contemporary painting techniques that are present within his practice. Each painting in the exhibition is based on a seminal floral still life by a Dutch/Flemish master and has been reinterpreted and rearranged in both its visual and physical form. 

The referenced artworks have been put through a methodical process of dissecting the imagery, element by element, first in digital form and then in the execution phase. Floral elements are lifted from their context and placed anew in compositions that continually change as they are worked upon. Fallah builds the work in layers, adding collaged printouts, reproduced images as well as painting directly below and above these layers. In doing so, the artist has been able to strip apart the process of classical still life painting and give each element a separate identity and importance in the new compositions, thus reimagining the historical images. Flowers that were once painstakingly painted in oil have been transformed into digital reproductions; leaves that wove in and out of the painting have been replaced by colored paper cut-outs in geometric shapes; Trompe l'oeil insects and creatures are now remade into abstractions; and colors that were once dark and sullen are bright and flamboyant.

Through a starkly different interpretation, this series of paintings not only questions the notion of appropriation throughout art history but also presents a fresh and electrifying take on one of the most iconic painting motifs throughout history – and in doing so, creates a new arrangement.

Amir H. Fallah

Almost Home

May 24 - July 25, 2017

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Amir H. Fallah

The Collected

December 11, 2013 - January 23, 2014

AHF_The Triangle In The Shattered Square

Amir H. Fallah - The Collected

The Third Line welcomes back Amir H. Fallah with his third solo show in Dubai, The Collected, which investigates the complex relationship between patronage and art making, collector and artist, and the dynamics of the creative process in today’s art world. All the paintings in the show are pre-sold, commissioned portraits, where the artist exercised complete artistic authority to manipulate the image according to his own interpretation. The process involved initial collaboration with the commissioner, a performative component in the staging, and the element of surprise in the reveal of the works to the patrons for the first time during the show preview. 

In his new body of work, Amir explores classical and renaissance portraiture traditions employing a critical approach by subverting the mechanisms of control. Art history boasts of countless examples of commissioned portraiture, where images conceal the patron’s physical identities and instead feature material possessions as a sign of stature and wealth, and solely the patron determined the final depiction of their identity. In this case, the artist exerts control over aesthetic and conceptual decisions, with the process relying heavily on trust and a powerful agreement to hand over creative authority back to the artist. The paintings will be revealed to the patrons for the first time at the exhibition opening.

Amir visited collectors’ residences in Dubai more than a year ago and staged the portraits by gathering various material belongings from within their homes as markers of their identity, particularly gravitating toward those mundane objects that seem loaded with sentimental meaning - a worn afghan, an idiosyncratic plant, a figurine or running shoes. After carefully assembling the composition through collaborative efforts with the subject, he photographed the setting and used the image as a starting point. The works further changed in his studio when transferred onto the canvas and evolved through his personal interventions and stylized interpretation, telling the patrons’ personal histories through his eyes.

The surfaces are layered with collage and paint and the imagery often reflects the artist’s own cultural alliances: references to Persian miniatures may appear in the form of careful borders along the edge of a canvas and blankets may start to resemble the long veils associated with Eastern cultures. Images are embellished and details introduced or omitted based on extemporaneous decisions, and the initial source photographs are completely obscured. Sometimes, subjects appear in dramatically neoclassical poses, lounging across a wooden table or perched on a pedestal. Faces and other obvious markers are concealed and the only identification is through personal elements that surround them. For example The Triangle In The Shattered Square includes a skateboard, a bottle of spray paint, a digital camera, and geometrical patterns picked from ceramic tiles at the collectors residence.

Amir approaches his current paintings as an investigative and analytical historian. Aside from unraveling a different perspective to art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern day art collection and art making, he also reflects upon concerns of identity and representation that are central to his practice.

Project Space - The Salon

Group Show

THE STATE: SOCIAL/ANTISOCIAL?

September 12 - October 27, 2011

Thestate

Artists: Abbas Akhavan, Huda Lutfi, Arwa Abouon, Amir H. Fallah, Fouad Elkoury, Farhad Moshiri, Hassan Hajjaj, Laleh Khorramian, Slavs and Tatars, Susan Hefuna, Youssef Nabil

To begin the fall season, The Third Line invites guest curator Rami Farook to continue a conversation about the state of the world today. Comprising of works from The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection and exhibiting at the two spaces, the show attempts to question and discuss the state of the contemporary environment through artistic representations depicting social behavior, ecology and psychology.

THE STATE: SOCIAL / ANTISOCIAL? is inspired by and, a continuation from, previous shows at Traffic also titled ‘the state’. This exhibition resumes a dialogue explored earlier in shows held at Traffic: THE STATE(2010), the inaugural exhibition, questioned the socio-political state post September 11; anTHE STATE: UPPERS & DOWNERS(2011) ran a commentary on the global condition, from an economic perspective, with the city of Dubai as a focal point. This third installment of investigation combines works from the collection of The Third Line, Traffic and The Farook Collection, and is exhibited at both galleries to connect the conversations previously limited to one physical space. 

Amir H. Fallah

Make It Believe

April 22 - May 30, 2009

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Group Show

Under the Indigo Dome

January 08 – February 08, 2007

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Ala Ebtekar and Amir Fallah’s artworks are stepping stones of sorts, suggesting as many similarities as differences between such extremes.             

Ebtekar’s black and white drawings, sketched on paper, like studies for an oil-daubed masterpiece, Kushti warriors are integrated with B-Boy poses that simultaneously echo a faded era of popular culture while mirroring the integration of hip-hop culture into an equally pop mainstream today. Each figure rests under an ornamented dome-like arc; soldiers of the past forming a fortified structure with the equally macho posturing of rap artists, break-dancers and MCs.

Fallah meanwhile takes a more personal approach to explore notions of identity and masculinity. His second exhibition with The Third Line, he has here created a series of drawings on paper, large paintings, photographs and an installation all inspired by boyhood and ideas of what constitutes a ‘safe haven’.