Advocartsy has been active since Roshi Rahnama founded it in 2015, staging and supporting exhibitions and other projects supporting contemporary Iranian visual art. But about a year ago, it found a permanent space. The Space, in fact — an exhibition venue in downtown. After several engaging, thoughtful and provocative thematic group and solo presentations, Advocartsy's current installation marks a new milestone — a collaboration with interior designer Ryan Saghian.
Saghian brings a unique perspective in surveying the diasporic continuum of contemporary Iranian art and design aesthetics. His sleek yet playful selections express both a luxe take on modernism and a narrative wit in the details, with works across genres from mixed media, furniture and sculpture to painting, drawing and digital photography.
Many artists whose work in the show deals with traditional decorative and calligraphic motifs also use compelling visual strategies to interweave elements of cultural and political contemporaneity. Others make more overt expressions of exuberant cultural hybridity, influenced by fashion as well as fine art. Several women artists employ self-portraiture in haunting, powerful compositions, while others work in more mysterious, even totally abstract works of rich texture and color.
The range of styles included speaks to the wide range of practices in contemporary Iranian art, which is as diverse and eclectic as any community. That said, there is absolutely a predominant, almost emotional energy of poignant poetics, sublimated humor, rich palette and a profusion of expressive detail, symbol and meaningful storytelling that suffuses the entire selection. Transcending potential obstacles of language or historical reference, the show achieves a more fundamental, humanist communion.
The installation is on view through Nov. 15, and includes work by Hessam Abrishami, Pouya Afshar, Afsoon, Shahram Karimi, Dana Nehdaran, Mobina Nouri, Aida Izadpanah, Rebecca Setareh, Sepideh Salehi, Hadi Salehi, Shilla Shakoori, Melika Shafahi, Shadi Yousefian and Farnaz Zabetian.
The Space by Advocartsy, 924 S. San Pedro St., downtown; (213) 372-5096, advocartsy.com; Tue.-Sat., noon-5 p.m.; through Thu., Nov. 15; free.