Avish Khebrehzadeh (Born in Tehran, Iran, 1969) studied painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome and has lived and worked in Tehran and Rome, before moving to Washington DC where she is currently based. Her work explores the power of figures and their multifaceted narrative aspect in multitude of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, animation, film, as well as video projections onto drawings and paintings. A series of her hand drawn video animations projected onto large sheets of drawings titled “Distant Memory” were featured in the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003, where she received the Golden Lion Award for the best Young Italian Artist.
Solo exhibitions of her work have appeared around the globe in Institutions such as MACRO (Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome), the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence, Rhode Island, MAXXI (National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome Italy), and MONA (The Museum of Old and New Art, Tasmania, Australia).
Her works have been featured in the 6th Istanbul Biennial in 1999, the 5th Liverpool Biennial in 2008, the 8th Site Santa Fe Biennial (Santa Fe, New Mexico), and the inaugural exhibition of MAXXI, Rome's first museum of 21st century art.
Among her notable works are a series of large scale theater paintings with video animation projections which were exhibited for the first time at Albion Gallery in 2008 (London and NY) and at the New Frontier section of the Sundance Film festival (2011), as well as the Innovation section of the Bird's Eye View Film Festival (London, 2011). Some of her recent solo shows at Sprovieri Gallery (London) and Galleria S.A.L.E.S. in Rome, and Ab-Anbar Gallery in Tehran, featured a series of enigmatic tree drawings on large handmade sheets of paper mounted on canvas. These works were also exhibited at Galerie Im Taxispalais in Innsbruck, Austria.
Avish’s most recent works were featured in the Discoveries section of ART BASEL Hong Kong in 2013 (Galleria S.A.L.E.S.) and her innovative projection Installation work "Where Do We Go from Here?" was featured in GAM collection in Torino during Artissima 2013. Her latest solo exhibition at Fondazione Volume in Rome in 2016, and Ab-Anbar Gallery in Tehran, featured a 6-channel animated projection, and series of constellation drawings which were inspired by and created as a tribute to the 10th century Persian astronomer Al-Sufi.
For her second exhibition with Albion, Avish moves into new territory making images that use film stills from a handful of her favourite modern European film makers, including Andrei Tarkovsky, Bela Tarr, and Visconti and Ingmar Bergman. Some of their most celebrated but enigmatic works inform this new body of work.
The exhibition is accompanied by a text by Booker Prize winner Anglo-Nigerian writer Ben Okri. Entitled ‘Seven Fugues’, this short piece of writing does not critique the work but creates a dialogue with the artist. While the painter makes images drawn from the film, Okri weaves a narrative sometimes truthful and often fanciful. Nonetheless he is captivated by the intensity of her image making in the same way that he recalls the oral tradition of the storytellers of his own country.
Avish is a Civitella Ranieri fellow and a Smithsonian Artist Research fellow.