Moving to an aerial view, observing from a distance, there may be no such thing as a cultural war. There may only be a process, a moment in an ever-evolving world of cultural forces. Although this viewpoint does not champion good or evil, it does acknowledge movement and outcome. The paintings of Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi arise from cultures often portrayed at war. Each culture measures itself by a different clock. Each respective clock sometimes runs faster than the other, then slower, sometimes backward and then again forward. The clocks rarely synchronize, until the conflicts are spent and the two clocks merge. Ilchi’s work takes us to an aerial viewpoint where we see traditional Persian imagery merging with modernist American painting techniques. The content is not in conflict, but there is sense of broken parts coming together and things from a past appearing in a present. Contrary to our times, where a speeding flow of expedient information engulfs everything, Ilchi asks us to step back, slow down, take the aerial view. From this vantage point we see intricately executed tazhib patterns, sometimes floating over and at other times captured within scenes of organic chaos. Chaos created by the layering of translucencies, controlled pours and the topographical accumulations of paint. It is as though we are witnessing the reactions of chemical components. It takes time to comprehend the dazzling luminosities of her paintings, to see the merging of two cultures. Yet Ilchi’s work is not of an ideal state, there is a sense of trouble in her pictures, an apprehension of beauty, and a pining wishful-ness for the outcomes we are moving towards.
Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi was born in 1981 in Tehran, Iran and currently lives and works in the Washington DC area. Ilchi received a BFA with honors from the Corcoran College of Art + Design in 2006 and an MFA in Studio Art from the American University in 2011. She has been awarded residencies at the Ucross Foundation, Vermont Studio Center, The Jentel Foundation, and the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts. She has exhibited in New York, Switzerland, Washington DC and Winston- Salem, NC and her work is included in several private and public collections. HEDIEH JAVANSHIR ILCHI: I surrender to you, ashen lands and blue skies is the artist’s second exhibition at Hemphill Fine Arts.