Gallery Paule Anglim is pleased to announce Absent Arrival, the fourth solo exhibition of works by Ala Ebtekar.
The artist's newest body of work brings together divergent places and times, in a hypothetical confluence of ancient traditions and the imagined future. Inspired by the delicacy and intricacy found in Persian manuscript illuminations and Islamic architecture, Ebtekar employs the image and metaphor of the the portal, the gateway into the next, or the future. The works are filtered and serene, some with all color removed, resulting in a purified air of minimal forms.
In quiet drawings on embossed paper, he overlays figures from the past with contemporary silhouettes, creating a tracery of layers, a matrix through which one might open onto a new reality. In another series, using found works on paper from illustrated science fiction books, posters, and poetry volumes, he isolates arches, windows and views of the cosmos, suggesting a common meditative vision with application to both ancient tradition (and spirituality) and to imaginings of the future.
Ebtekar explains: "Whether in archtecture or in illuminations the arch of a doorway spans time and history. Sufis believed existence is of two natures, the earthly and the divine. And the transition between these two states was represented by an arch..."
Born and raised in California by parents displaced from Iran, the artist's rich imagination absorbed images from Persian tradition and the West Coast environment of digital culture and graffiti art.
Ebtekar has shown talent as a draughtsmen and avid interest in historical texts since his earliest years. He describes his work as a "glimpse of a crossroad where present day events meet history and mythology." As a teenager he joined Tim Rollins and K.O.S. (Kids of Survival) and later travelled to Iran to study traditional painting technique. In 2002 he received his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and in 2006 his MFA from Stanford University, where he is now a visiting lecturer. He has exhibited internationally, including participation in "One Way Or Another: Asian American Art Now", organized by the Asia Society; in the 2006 "California Biennial" at the Orange County Museum of Art.; and in "The Global Contemporary: Art Worlds after 1989" at the ZKM (Center for Art and Media) in Karlsruhe, Germany.
For further information about the exhibition and the artist, please visit the gallery website at: