Maliheh Afnan (b. 1935) is a poet of lines, of earthen colors and iconic signs. In her often small-scale works, the artist creates dreamlike scenes of a perfect language; delicate palimpsests that evoke lost childhood memories and stir up the unexposed. The artist creates an écriture automatique beyond legibility. She writes her paintings, right or left-aligned, as contemporary pictorial quotes of an Antiquity that can no longer be found in any language. Her works are hieroglyphic ruins of ancient landscapes, faces of exile, a visual poetry in the tradition of Persian and Arabic calligraphy reflecting an immense, magical beauty that resists the withdrawal of this tradition.
Maliheh Afnan’s works evoke Paul Klee’s poetic miniature works of paper and are reminiscent of the work of Mark Tobey, to whom the artist felt closely related.
Maliheh Afnan was born to Iranian parents in Haifa. She lived in Beirut, Washington, Kuwait, and spent more than 23 years in Paris. The artist has been living and working in London since 1997.
The works of Maliheh Afnan have been exhibited internationally and are shown in a number of prestigious museums and collections, including The Metropolitan Museum in New York; The British Museum in London and the Institut du monde arabe in Paris.
Maliheh Afnan, “Tonight, The Door Towards Words Will be Opened”, is curated by Shulamit Buckstein Çoruh. The catalogue Maliheh Afnan: “Tonight, the Door Towards Words Will be Opened”, will be published on the occasion of the exhibition, edited by Galerie Kornfeld. With a preface by the curator Shulamit Buckstein Çoruh and contributions from Maliheh Afnan, Lutz Becker, Eva Beierheimer & Miriam Laussegger, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Sohrab Sepehri.