Maryam Najd - Mediterranean Blanket
Artist Maryam Najd (°1965, Teheran) received her training in her native city and in Antwerp, two cultural and artistic extremes. This duality is also evident in her painting, where both worlds are skilfully intermixed. Najd combines her own experience of reality with the observation of 'reality' as depicted in the media: the artist regularly works with the photographs she makes of television broadcasts. The chosen image is then removed from its context and abstracted by her artistic process - a reflection of her mastery of the ancient Persian art of miniature painting - and so becomes transformed into a poetic yet still very clear political statement.
The Groeningemuseum project is a partnership with Cultuurcentrum Brugge (the Bruges Cultural Centre). In this instance, Najd takes as her starting-point poems from the famous 'Eight Books' by the Iranian painter and poet Sohrab Sepehri. This allows her to explore the various contemporary positions occupied by migrants, refugees and travellers. Through the use of Sepehri's poetry she also builds bridges to the Groeningemuseum's permanent collection. For example, she not only links Odevaere's painting of 'The Death of Lord Byron' to the figure of the poet himself, but also to the dying migrants of today, all of whom sought in their own way to find happiness and a better life on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. This exhibition is a successful follow-up to the projects by Fabienne Verdier, Ellen Harvey and Robert Devriendt, in which contemporary art enters into dialogue with the permanent collection of the Groeningemuseum in a manner that opens up new perspectives.
Groeningemuseum - Eight Volumes of Fantasy. Maryam Najd - 02.07.2016 - 02.10.2016