Roya Akhavan
Iranian, born 1953

Iranian-born Roya Akhavan draws on traditional Persian art making techniques in her image-laden, expressive paintings and sculptures. Repetition and pattern define her work, as do heady combinations of Middle Eastern and Western motifs. In her “Nexus” series of 2009, images of swords, stars, human figures, and horses overlap and intersect, as scrolling, vine-like forms snake up and down the surface of the compositions. The rich range of colors further enhances the force and energy of her paintings. Akhavan’s sculptures are also full of visual complexity. Breakthrough (2013) comprises layers of tinted glass panels. These are etched with the ghostly images of two human figures, and cut with repeating images of stars and X shapes, among other traditional Persian motifs. Like all of Akhavan’s work, Breakthrough possesses a sense of stability and fragility, loss and potential.

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