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Artist Bio

Shirazeh Houshiary

Shirazeh Houshiary (b. 1955, Iran) moved to London in the early 1970’s and graduated from the Chelsea School of Art in 1979, emerging with a group of artists that included Anish Kapoor and Richard Deacon. Houshiary is well known for her sculptures in which she investigates spiritual principles and abstract forms. In her first solo exhibition in New York, presented at Lehmann Maupin Gallery in 1999, she exhibited a series of paintings that explored her interest in Sufism and the 13th Century mystic poet Jalal al-Din Rumi. The calligraphy was implemented in graphite and repeatedly laced into the luminous surfaces.  In her labor-intensive paintings she unites the word and the canvas into a meditative visual experience, which results in work that is about presence and experience. 
Houshiary, who was a Turner Prize nominee in 1994, has had solo and group exhibitions at the Camden Arts Centre, London (1993); SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico (2002); Tate Liverpool (2003); The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2007); RISD Museum, Providence (2011); and the Royal Academy of Arts, London (2012), among others. In 2013, Houshiary’s work was included in two collateral exhibitions at the 55th Venice Biennale, including a site-specific installation at La Torre di Porta Nuova, Arsenale Nord and Glasstress 2013. The artist’s work was also recently featured in the Kiev Biennale (2012) and the 17th Biennale of Sydney (2010).
Houshiary’s work is in prestigious public collections including the British Council Collection, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Prato; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and Tate Modern, London, among others. The artist currently lives and works in London, England.