Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi is an Iranian artist who aims to represent the interaction of two cultures when and where they intersect. Her latest exhibition I Surrender to you, ashen lands and blue skies is on view at HEMPHILL Fine Arts through June 29, 2019. Rather than dissecting each potential outcome of the junction individually, Ilchi approaches the concept from an aerial point of view. She demonstrates that it is, understandably, quite complex, with multiple layers of interconnectedness and separation.
In the works exhibited at HEMPHILL Fine Arts, Ilchi brings together influences from both Persian and American cultures. Most notable of the Persian imagery are the tazhib patterns. “Tazhib (gilding) is an Arabic word which has been derived from ‘zahab’ meaning ‘gold’.” Alongside the tazhib patterns, she utilizes free-flowing watercolors that are reminiscent of American abstraction. Not only is she combining elements from two distinct art histories, but she also connotes both the past and present. The tazhib artistic pattern is traditional and established, whereas abstractionism is relatively modern. Moreover, Persian imagery and style is rigid and geometric in comparison to gestural Western abstraction.