Faig Ahmed, Ledge, 2011, handmade wool carpet, 59 x 39 1/2".

Faig Ahmed

Leila Heller Gallery | New York

Faig Ahmed, Ledge, 2011, handmade wool carpet, 59 x 39 1/2".

Set along the Caspian Sea between Russia and Iran, present-day Azerbaijan is heir to a long and storied history. Scholars have speculated that the country’s southern forests are the site of the biblical Garden of Eden, while its oil-rich Absheron Peninsula fell victim to some of the Soviet Union’s most devastating acts of environmental destruction; in the intervening years, this easternmost Caucasus nation has been captured, conquered, and occupied by such formidable empires, kingdoms, and khanates as those of the Greeks, Parthians, Romans, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, Persians, Russians, and Soviets. The narrative of Azerbaijani art, in turn, is no less layered. In short form, the country’s applied arts—metalworking, engraving, and carpet weaving—take precedence, whereas its painting tradition in the pre-Soviet era was limited (Azerbaijan’s contributions to Persian and Ottoman

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