Farshad Farzankia’s large paintings radiate poetic power and vitality. ARKEN’s major solo exhibition featuring Farzankia is the Iranian born artist’s first show at a museum. For the exhibition, he has created new works that reach far back in time, incorporating centuries of traditions while also examining our own time with a critical eye.
The title of the exhibition comes from a poem by Inger Christensen, If I stand, from the collection of poems Lys (Light, 1962). For Farzankia, the poem is about how any human can stand up, cast a shadow and be present in the world. At the exhibition, visitors can enjoy twenty-three large paintings, several of them created especially for this exhibition. These paintings are poetic and powerful discharges of color, light and darkness. Farzankia has also brought together a wealth of drawings and silkscreen prints in a huge collage called During the Reign of Images (2018–21), a work which has grown out of the last three years of his production. The drawings provide insight into the intuitive process that precedes each painting in Farzankia’s practice, speaking eloquently of the power and significance that images have in today’s intensely visual culture.///
Farzankia constantly feeds his mind and entire sensory apparatus a wide array of impressions from film and literature, music and visual art, historical narratives and the present-day barrage of digital images. All these things find their way into his paintings as sources of inspiration, sometimes in recognisable form, but usually changed and transformed, embedded in the artist’s distinctive aesthetic. From the Persian thirteenth-century poet Rumi to Bob Dylan and Gunnar Ekelöf, from the films of directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard and Abbas Kiarostami, and from the art of figures ranging from J.F. Willumsen to Andy Warhol. Farzankia’s paintings are created against the backdrop of a colossal, profound interest in human manifestations of life, cutting across time, continents and cultures.