My personal narrative has shaped the way I think about and make my work: born in Iran during the 1979 Revolution, experiencing the Iran-Iraq war as a child, immigration to the States, and coming to terms with my queer identity. Through the use of material and geometric abstraction I aim to explore themes surrounding displacement, the notion of “home” and

in-betweenness, and the duality of the private and public domain.


Over the course of the past ten years, I have undertaken a personal investigation into the intersection of contemporary craft and social practice. Formal investigations into geometry and abstraction are informed by ideas surrounding the transnational dissemination of embroidery and labor. The intercultural reception of color and design is explored through paper and thread. Employing a range of threads that yield a variety of visual effects, from vintage Japanese 24-karat gold-wrapped silk thread to the common domestic sewing thread, I “draw” by meticulously hand-stitching directly into archival paper. Influenced by sources ranging from Iranian architecture to Azulejo tiles, my work functions as a discrete investigation into scale, light, and color. Yet, my general practice is concerned with the labor proposition and fundamental processes of repetition inherent in the domestic act of sewing and embroidery.


Working on one body of work at a time, I vacillate between two methodologies with each series of work — one that is rigorously planned and one that is organic. In one method of making, I pre-plan the outcome, deliberately removing the act of choice from my process. These works take upwards of three months to complete an individual piece and the process resembles that of the labor involved in factory work. In another method, I organically choose the path of my drawing, which yields a form of discovery through the process. My works are sculptural and are experienced differently depending on the viewer’s placement, as taught thread slightly buckles the paper. The works are ultimately three-dimensional, approximating the dynamic shadowing of more traditional reliefs. For me, the ritualistic and repetitive process of making these works marks the physical passage of time and becomes the experience connecting me and the viewer. The eventual results are a matrix of mosaic patterns that simultaneously build upon and eclipse any singular class or culture.


  • Abdolreza Aminlari

Selected Works