GALLERY 2
The Third Line
Dubai, UAE
24 May – July 25, 2017

Amir H. Fallah returns to The Third Line with a new body of work titled Almost Home reflecting on the idea of belonging outside one’s country of origin. The exhibition shows a series of the artist’s signature style landscapes and portraits, respectively referencing floral Persian ornamentation and Iranian-American immigrants who have not returned to Iran since their departure several decades ago. Amir works deeply from his own experience and explores what it means to exist outside the homeland.

Almost Home looks at narratives that seem congruent in the immigrants’ lives. The concept of a home takes on a new meaning: it is fluid, transient, constantly evolving; it is not one grounded in old land, seeped with the history of generations that have passed through it. A new home, then, is rebuilt holding on to constants that people of migration identify as markers of a culture that they need to perpetuate in newer landscapes. The impermanence of these new homes is a reflection of a very stark reality of modern day mobility and livelihood.

The Filmmaker’s Reflection displays Amir’s bold style of portrait painting. The subject’s identity remains anonymous, though it is surrounded by an assortment of items, primarily personal belongings and memorabilia. These pieces of clothing, jewelry and mementos reference the home, the subject’s roots and cultural heritage. Along the edges of the painting is an elaborate tangle of flowers and vines similar to the ornate borders found on Persian rugs.

In creating this surreal window into a highly schematic vision of typified memories, Amir plays what it means to be away from one’s home and country of origin, and creates an ironically tourist book condition of displacement. Adding a second layer of meaning to the exhibition, Amir chooses to exhibit the works in this home in Dubai, a city that has become a safe haven for thousands of Iranians. Many of Amir’s American-Iranian subjects cannot return to Iran, and they most certainly cannot be permanent settlers in the UAE, but by recreating this mirage and bringing their portraits to Dubai, Amir imagines it as one step closer to their homeland. And so, bringing them almost home.

 

About Amir H. Fallah

Amir H. Fallah was born in Tehran, Iran in 1979. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001 and his MFA from University of California Los Angeles in 2005. Amir’s artistic oeuvre encompasses painting, photography, sculpture, and installation combined with a visual vocabulary that includes collage and complex patterning. The works present a critical observation of the deconstruction and appropriation of portraiture in its various forms. Amir’s practice presents an alternative perspective to entrenched art historical portraiture traditions and the dynamics of modern day art collection and art making. Intertwined with these concerns are his reflections upon identity and personal narrative.

Amir has exhibited widely in solo shows across the United States and in the Middle East. These include The Caretaker, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, USA (2015); Perfect Strangers, 18th Street Arts Center, Los Angeles, CA, USA; The Collected, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2013); Spaced Case (Bing Rips, Magical Potions, Mystical Potions, Mystical Flora and Avatars), Baer Ridgeway Exhibitions, San Francisco, CA, USA (2010) and Make it Believe, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2009).

His numerous group exhibitions include We Must Risk Delight-Twenty Artists from Los Angeles, 56th La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2015); I’ll Show You Mine, Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, USA (2014), Theory Of Survival: Fabrications, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, USA (2014); SUPERCALLAFRAGILEMYSTICEXTASY-DIOECIOUS, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, California, USA (2013), Show Off, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE (2011), Provisions for the Future, The 9th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (2009).

Amir is a 2017 recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists and a 2015 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. His works are part of several private and public collections, including the Microsoft Art Collection, USA; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland, KS, USA; and the Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE.

Amir lives and works in California, USA