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walid siti: parallel realms

taymour grahne gallery

13 march - 13 April 27 2014
new york, USA

Above: Walid Siti, Mountain Construction, 2013, Acrylic and Crayon on Paper

Taymour Grahne Gallery is proud to present Parallel Realms, a solo exhibition of new work by the Iraqi-Kurdish artist Walid Siti, including paintings, works on paper, and a large-scale site-specific installation. The impetus behind Siti’s work emerges from his preoccupation with the ongoing process of transformation in the Middle East due to politics and war, a theme that has influenced and shaped his art as well as his life.

Throughout this series, metaphorical mountains, pyramids, Ziggurats and ladders - fundamental figures of Kurdish folklore - continue to form essential parts of Siti's visual vocabulary. The deconstruction of structures in Siti's work conveys a shift from historical cultural tradition and symbolism towards more complex contemporary forms. These elements offer an allegory for dislocation and disorientation in a fragile and troubled landscape, reflecting the impact of rapid social transformation, shifting power structures, and the uncertainty of the future.

As Lynn MacRitchie writes in her essay for the exhibition’s catalogue, “The work of Walid Siti traverses a complex terrain of memory and loss, while at the same time offering an acute insight into a world which for him has been a place of constant change. Used to change, Siti moves with it, demonstrating its effects with delicacy, wit and an underlying sadness, as his own sense of a lost history merges with the concern that his country’s rush to ‘reconstruct’ may be undermining what had seemed to be unshakeable foundations of human values.”

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