Golnaz Fathi returns to The Third Line gallery with a new body of work Falling Leaves. Using traditional Iranian calligraphy and the epic poem Shahnameh by Persian poet Ferdowsi as a point of departure, Fathi interprets the work through a contemporary lens that breathes new life into an ancient practice and story.
A trained calligrapher, Fathi has the ability to skillfully transform known language into form and composition. Shifting from the stringent rules of the calligraphic discipline, she soon found artistic solace in a new form of expression in her paintings: an imaginary language deeply rooted in Persian tradition while simultaneously hinting at a social renaissance.
This new series revolves around the seminal Iranian text of the Shahnameh as its central theme. The Shahnameh or Shah-nama (Book of Kings) is a long epic poem written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 AD and is the national epic of Iran and related societies.
The work represented branches out from her usual approach, incorporating instead figurative elements that were inspired from a lithographic illustration of the poem. This distinct departure from her original text based exploration demonstrates Fathi’s inner visual dialogue and interpretation of the poem. The artist relates to the book themes of futile wars as still relevant today in her native Iran, and in the Middle East in general – confirming the notion of history repeating itself.