Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi balances pattern with painterly abstraction

By Kriston Capps, The Washington Post
December 13, 2023

Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi might be two painters.

One is the hand behind the gorgeous tazhib: intricate patterns of illumination borrowed from Islamic art forms. In her paintings, Ilchi designs floral and lattice motifs based on Persian crafts, drawing on her experience growing up in Tehran.

The other painter is experimental: an abstract-oriented artist looking at new ways to build up surfaces. This painter produces clouds and stains in a toxic palette, making bold textured works that look almost hazardous to the touch.

On Ilchi’s surfaces, violent abstraction and delicate illumination jockey for significance. Her perfectly hyphenated paintings take the form of surreal landscapes. The stars in her skies peek through arabesque ornamentation. The mountains on her horizons rise over luminous veils.

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