In “Veiled,” Chicago-based multidisciplinary artist Ani Afshar presents a collection of new assemblages that combine fabric and mixed media in fresh and unexpected ways. Using layers of tulle as her ground, Afshar creates poetic stories on top of, or between, these shimmering blocks of color. Rooted as much in drawing as they are in textile art, her constructions are often highly pictorial in both appearance and connotation, featuring angular lines of thread and beads that spread out like tree branches or spiderwebs over found photographs and other collected momentos.
Afshar combines influences from Turkish textiles, as well as from the contemporary folk and ancient textile traditions of the Near East, with the hard lines of Modernist abstraction. Each of her works seems like a sensuous, three-dimensional embodiment of a sketchbook page that was left behind by a globe-trotting poet, or like a map of the human brain that is meant to show the webs of memories created by a life of love and loss. Both familiar and mysterious, Afshar’s art remains slippery in nature, sliding between categories easily and never staying in one place for very long.
Register below to attend the free reception of “Veiled” on May 20 at 6 p.m.