Artist Photo Credit © Pedro Borges Photography
Zahra Nazari's environment has always been the most significant influence on her artwork: first in her home country of Iran; and later upon emigrating to the United States. Born in Hamadan in 1985, an Iranian city that dates back to 1100 BC, Nazari grew up fascinated by how cities affect, connect, and separate their inhabitants. Ancient and modern worlds coexist in constant flux in Hamadan; contemporary structures rise alongside archaeological sites of historical significance.
The deconstructed and fragments forms of architectural structures in her artwork collide with themes of time, memory, erosion, and degradation. Persian architectural icons find their way into her artwork alongside postmodern sites from the Western world. Vibrant brushstrokes merge these structures with organic forms, creating floating and shifting environments where realism meets abstraction, where the clarity of imagined futures rises from the blur of our pasts. Her evolving identity as an immigrant in the United States now informs her artwork beyond physical space.
Nazari received her BFA from the School of Art & Architecture in Tabriz, Iran. In 2011, she left Iran to pursue her MFA in the United States. Nazari received her MFA from the State Univerity of New York in New Platz in 2014. She is a New York-based painter, sculptor, and installation artist exhibiting both nationally and internationally. She has also been a recipient of the Creative Engagement Grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY; the AIM Fellowship from the Bronx Museum, NY; a Visiting Artist Fellowship from MASS MoCA; an Artist Residency Fellowship from Cooper Union; an Artist Residency from Sculpture Space in Utica, NY, and; an Artist Residency from the Vermont Studio Center, VT as well as several others. A selection of Nazari's recent exhibitions includes; the Bronx Museum, NY; Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, NY; High Line Nine Gallery, NY; MANA Contemporary, NJ; Spartanburg Art Museum, SC; Masur Museum of Art, LA; New York Academy of Art, NY; Denise Bibro Fine Art, NY; Boccara Art Gallery, NY; Painting Center, NY; A Center for Contemporary Art, NJ; Illinois Institute of Art, IL; Manifest Gallery, IL; Woman Made Gallery, IL; China Millennium Monument, Beijing, China; Xuancheng Museum, Anhui, China; Lite-Haus Galerie, Berlin, Germany; Saba Institution, and Baran Gallery in Tehran, Iran. Nazari has given artist talks and participated as a panelist at institutions including NYU, Columbia University, Cooper Union, and Pratt Institute in New York City. She has been interviewed by and published in Artefuse, Hamptons Art Hub, Hyperallergic, Whitehot Magazine, ZH Magazine, and more. Her artwork is included in private and public collections worldwide.