Ulterior Gallery is pleased to present Bibliophile, Maryam Amiryani’s third solo exhibition with the gallery. Following two solo exhibitions of Amiryani’s work presented at Ulterior, Mashaheer (2017) and What I Love (2020), Bibliophile is another beautiful self-portrayal by the artist. The exhibition opens on February 24.
A bibliophile is “a person who collects or has a great love of books.” Amiryani loves books. She buys books, accumulates them, studies them, and cherishes her connections with them. In this series, Amiryani has depicted twenty books that she has selected from her own bookshelf. The following list of titles, which also serve as the painting titles for this exhibition, speak to the artist’s love of animals, her experiences as an Iranian émigré, her sense of humor, and more. Volumes in the Persian language and also about Persian cats, dictionaries of birds, and biographies of women who have played important roles as advocates of social justice all create a window into the scope and range of Amiryani’s interests and experiences.
In her process, Amiryani often modifies some details of the book covers she portrays, while keeping them as true as possible to the original designs, in order to reveal her essential relationships to the books. One such example from the exhibition is Le Petit Prince—Amiryani replaced the French title with the Persian version. Her painting not only represents the book that is one of the most widely translated and read around the world, but also alludes to Amiryani’s very personal story of being between languages and cultures.
Persian Cats and Other Longhairs
Le Petit Prince
Daughters of Emptiness, Poems of Chinese Buddhist Nuns
Kiss and Make-Up
Letting Go Is All We Have To Hold Onto, Mind Altering Jokes
An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds (Back)
An Incomplete Dictionary of Show Birds (Front)
Sitting Bull, Native American Warriors
Serge Gainsbourg, A Fistful Of Gitanes
The Complete Miniature Schnauzer
Brief Interviews With Hideous Men
Angela Davis, An Autobiography
Power To The Peaceful
Ms. Rosa Parks
Well-Behaved Women Seldom Make History
Pigeons, The Fascinating Saga of The World’s Most Revered and Reviled Bird
Not Now Not Now Not Now Not Now Not Now, The Procrastinator’s Manual
Maryam Amiryani was born in Shiraz, Iran in 1967. Following the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Amiryani and her family relocated to Paris, France. Several years later, she moved to the United States, where she completed her education, obtaining a MFA in painting from the New York Academy of Art, New York, NY, in 1995. She also holds a BFA in Graphic Design from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA, and a BS in Asian History from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. Amiryani lives and works in Marfa, TX. Many of Amiryani’s paintings are currently on long-term view as a public art project at By Art Matters (OEli) in Hangzhou, China, run by the Italian curator Francesco Bonami. This exhibition is Amiryani’s third solo exhibition with the gallery and the first at the gallery’s new location in SoHo.