Shirazeh Houshiary

Lisson Gallery | 27 Bell Street | London

Shirazeh Houshiary constructs a variety of sculptural forms based on the metaphysical doctrines of Sufism. Since Sufism has no sculptural tradition of its own, she is compelled to appropriate various formal means of late-20th century Western sculpture. The earliest examples of Houshiary’s art are spiritually suggestive environments and striking objects in a biomorphic idiom. Later, she achieved a higher degree of esthetic autonomy and monumentality in her sculptures; they are minimal in form, ascetic, and theatrically installed.

A recent grouping of sculptures questioned the audience’s belief that representations of the “spiritual” ought to be materially ephemeral, utilizing sensuous, dense metals—lead, aluminum, copper, and gold leaf—to incarnate the drama of the struggle between the metaphysical contraries identified in Sufic thought. Isthmus, 1992—the imposing chef d’oeuvre of this group

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