Chelsea NY – From May 19 through June 17 Gladstone Gallery presents an exhibition by Shirin Neshat featuring a film and a related series of photographs. This exhibition marks the first time the artist directs her focus exclusively on American culture, exploring the experience of being an Iranian living in the United States today. Through her film “Roja” and a haunting series of photographs, Neshat’s art conveys the ambivalence and inner personal struggle of an individual existing within two vastly different cultures. This latest exhibit marks a departure for the artist whose prior works depicted stark calligraphy combined with sharp images of her subject matter. The latest exhibit contains softened blurry portraits of white men and women of mixed similarities and subtle differences. Within the gallery, at the end of a long dramatic hallway, one finds the only single clear image — a black and white photograph of a woman standing defiantly & alone. This last image provides a clear & direct contrast to the weaker obscured imagery of the portraits of Americans found elsewhere throughout the gallery. While the photographs of Americans may be visually obscure, the underlying sentiment Neshat conveys is crystal clear in its artistic expression. The opening night reception was one of the most well attended I’ve ever seen. Crowds gathered around the gallery entrance, waiting for their chance to view the exhibit as they barely managed to enter past a large group of fans. This is one art gallery exhibit you don’t want to miss.
Gladstone Gallery is located at 515 W. 24th St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves. Gallery hours: Tues.–Sat., 10am-6pm. Call 212-206-9300 or visit gladstonegallery.com.