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Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian

I won't wait for grey hairs and worldly cares to soften my views

Opening: Sunday, April 12, 6–8pm

April 12 – June 7, 2015

A freeze-frame of a film work. The image depicts the three artists. At left, the artist is dressed as a traditional french maid. The figure in the middle holds toilet paper in his mouth. The figure at right is wearing a french maid bib with a t-shirt.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, The Maids, 2012–15. Single channel video slideshow, sound, 18 minutes 33 seconds. Edition of 7 with 3 APs.

A mixed media artwork that depicts a tuk-tuk with varied patterns throughout. There are hybrid human-animal figures throughout the work. The tuk-tuk is on a gray surface with a green background.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, Madame Tussauds VI, 2015. Binder, acrylic, ink, on printed canvas, 63 1/4 x 92 1/2 inches (160.7 x 235 cm)

A film still that depicts a pink dress without a head emerging from a car. There is a male figure next to it with no head. There is a figure holding the dress near an automobile that has a bunny head.

Rokni Haerizadeh, Reign of Winter, 2012–13. Single channel color video (rotoscoping), 8 minutes 42 seconds. Edition of 6 with 2 APs.

A series of three works in natural wood frames, installed in a straight line. Each work utilizes an identical image of a young boy standing in formal clothing next to a female face. Each work has been abstracted by a mass of white, black or grey paint in various ways.

Rokni Haerizadeh, The Reflection of the Moon is Dry in a Bowl of Water, 2014. A group of 3 works: binder, gesso, watercolor, acrylic and ink on printed paper, 14 x 10 3/4 inches each (35.6 x 27.3 cm each)

A painting with a magazine page as a base. Painted upon the page is a black-and-white pattern of squares in the background; formal ladies with white nondescript faces, and an illuminated grassy pit of light.

Rokni Haerizadeh, But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise, 2014–15. Gesso, water color and ink on printed paper, 11 5/8 x 16 1/2 inches (29.5 x 41.9 cm)

A painting that uses a magazine page as a base. The artist has painted over a large green net with a white frame around it. The humans in the image have been given animal heads (cows, chickens, birds, bunnies)

Rokni Haerizadeh, But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise, 2014–15. Gesso, water color and ink on printed paper, 11 5/8 x 16 1/2 inches (29.5 x 41.9 cm)

A mixed media collage that uses a magazine page as a base and paints over it. There are rabbits at the bottom-right. In the center is a large trunk, with people in yellow jackets investigating it. There is a crowd behind them of human bodies-bunny heads.

Rokni Haerizadeh, But a Storm is Blowing from Paradise, 2014–15. Gesso, water color and ink on printed paper, 11 5/8 x 16 1/2 inches (29.5 x 41.9 cm)

A photo-collage with a natural wood frame. There is a female body at the top with a pencil body drawn in. At the bottom are legs with a blue dress between them. There is a dotted line in the center of the image. At the top is a female head with a starburst around it at the top-right.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rib Room, 2015. Collage, ink and pencil on paper, 20.08 x 16.02 inches (51 x 40.7 cm)

A photo collage that has a blue dotted line along the bottom fifth of the work. There is a cut-out of a woman in glasses (just eyes and hair), and another mouth. She has her clothing drawn in pencil. At right is a photograph of an outside. The words "PORK ROAST" are written near each figure's head.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Rib Room, 2015. Collage, ink and pencil on paper, 16.02 x 12.01 inches (40.7 x 30.5 cm)

A mixed media sculpture that has a painted surface as the top portion with legs made out of pillow and black-and-white polka dot patterns. There is fabric, and a semi-photorealist head and face. The rest of the body is not defined.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Katz's Delicatessen, 2014. Various ready-mades, acrylic, fabric and pencil on canvas, 27 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches (69.9 x 60 cm)

A collage on paper framed in a natural wood frame. There are a multitude of symbols/images upon it: a cherub, a white dress without a head, a white car, a speaker megaphone, a bundle of green grapes, and a pale forest scene in the background.

Ramin Haerizadeh, First Rain's Always a Surprise, 2014. Paper and found oil painting collage, acrylic, ink, color pencil and lipstick on paper, 39.37 x 27.56 inches (100 x 70 cm)

A collage framed in natural wood with mixed pieces of paper and photographs. There is a candle being drained into a bowl at the bottom-right, and a photograph of a small girl holding a black flag attached to a pair of legs. There is also a suited man in a large square photograph in the background.

Ramin Haerizadeh, First Rain's Always a Surprise, 2014. Paper collage, ink, color pencil, pencil and lipstick on paper, 39.37 x 27.56 inches (100 x 70 cm)

A circular artwork that depicts a figure in the center with three arms, embedded within layers of fabric and floral prints. Upon the canvas are plastic readymades and knickknacks.

Ramin Haerizadeh, Carrot Cake, Carrot Cake, Do You Have Any Nuts?, 2014. Collage of various plastic ready-mades, paper, cardboard and carved wood on canvas, 44 6/8 inches diameter (113.7 cm diameter)

A painted work made up of 4 works on canvas: the bottom is a kangaroo tail and genitalia on a blue surface with a blue background; to the left is a circular canvas with the word "MOUTH" in black on pink ground; at the top is a square painting of a foot that is squished entirely into the frame; at right is a circular mauve canvas with an asterisk in black.

Hesam Rahmanian, Asterisk, Word of Mouth, Cocktail and 1sq Foot, 2014–15. Acrylic on canvas (a suite of 4 works), top to bottom, left to right: 12 x 12 inches; 5 x 7.01 inches; 5 inches diameter; 12.01 x 24.02 inches.

A painting of a man in a black suit, facing away from the viewer to the left. His ear and black hair are visible. His background is green.

Hesam Rahmanian, Rearview Portrait, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 23 1/2 x 20 inches (59.7 x 50.8 cm)

A painted abstraction that uses a magazine page as the ground. There is a discernible diamond crown from the magazine, and there are yellow/white/beige tones over the face

Hesam Rahmanian, Untitled, 2014. Collage of recycled paint and magazine page, 12.6 x 9.45 inches (32 x 24 cm)

A work that uses the cover of an Andy Warhol monograph as a foundation for paint over it. The bottom half of the work is white with a loose gray line.

Hesam Rahmanian, Untitled, 2014. Collage of recycled paint, magazine page and ink on paper, 16.34 x 12.01 inches (41.5 x 30.5 cm)

A painting of a broken black umbrella on the ground. The background is very abstracted: there are blue and white striations that appear like rain. The ground is mauve.

Hesam Rahmanian, Defeated, 2012. Acrylic on canvas, 39.37 x 39.37 inches (100 x 100 cm)

Press Release

Callicoon Fine Arts is very pleased to present I won’t wait for grey hairs and worldly cares to soften my views, the first exhibition in the United States by Dubai-based artists Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, and Hesam Rahmanian. The three have become known for their satirical approach to contemporary politics, building up immersive environments that blur the lines between their individual artistic practices, even while maintaining their own distinct identities. The elasticity of these categories is furthered with the inclusion of works by other artists in the exhibition. Be it from the Iran of their origin, or from aspects of American and European culture and art history, the artists gather allusions in a playful and subversive activity. 

Over the course of a multi-week installation the artists transform the gallery into an extension of their shared home and the work spaces of their studios. The accumulation places equal emphasis on their diverse sources. The extraordinary Zanni trickster of Commedia dell’arte, for example, or the friends and acquaintances that contribute to their daily life, all become a point of contact from which the trio develop their ongoing process. As “exhibition-cum-theatre,” the show includes video (in both performance and animation-based forms), painting, sculpture and collage, with the walls and floor of the space covered in painting. Networks of loose geometry, blooms of amaryllis, and illustrated figures in a style that references traditional forms of Iranian painting and calligraphy extend throughout the gallery. 

In an adaptation of Genet’s The Maids, a slide show of images documents the artists’ own performance of the play. Set in the baroque stage of the trio’s Dubai home, they enact a campy version of the sadomasochistic scenes and incorporate a tableau that references David’s The Death of Socrates. Also included in the exhibition is a sculptural assemblage with a water fountain at its base and a tumbling array of mannequin limbs, a pink rimmed jug and artificial flowers. In another work, a draped canvas depicts a partially obscured wedding procession, royals from a Madame Tussaud display, over which is placed a handmade bowl and tennis racket altered with a stocking and clay. The quotidian is heightened by ritual, only to be brought back down to earth.

The Haerizadeh brothers met Rahmanian in Tehran over their shared interest in bootlegged MTV and VIVA Polska VHS tapes. Years later, due to artistic censorship in Iran, the artists began living together in Dubai. Since 2009 they have worked to generate a near around-the-clock research based dialogue. Each artist, operating from their own unique set of aesthetics, share the use of wit and satire to recast ideas regarding power and activism, identity and desire. While instigating critique, the surrealist atmosphere of their exhibitions place experience and sensation at the core of their production.

This December, Rahmanian and the Haerizadeh brothers will exhibit at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston. Currently Kunsthalle Zürich is hosting an exhibition open till May 17 and recently, a monograph titled Ramin Haerizadeh, Rokni Haerizadeh, Hesam Rahmanian, with an essay by Tina Kukielski, was released by Mousse Publishing. The artists will also participate in the upcoming 8th Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, Brisbane. They have staged two collaborative exhibitions at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2012, 2014), in addition to their solo exhibitions there. In 2014, the three artists were Robert Rauschenberg Foundation residents in Captiva, Florida. 

Ramin Haerizadeh (b. Tehran, 1975) lives and works in Dubai. He has exhibited internationally, notably in Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, London (2009); Sharjah Biennial 10 (2011); and The Trees Set Forth to Seek for a King at the Museum on the Seam, Jerusalem (2014). He has had three solo exhibitions at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai, and a solo exhibition at Gallery Nathalie Obadia, Paris, in 2012. His works are held in a number of collections including Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the British Museum, the Devi Art Foundation and the Rubell Family Collection.

Rokni Haerizadeh (b. Tehran, 1978) lives and works in Dubai. He has participated in numerous institutional exhibitions, notably the Carnegie International (2013); Here And Elsewhere at the New Museum, New York (2014); and the Sharjah Biennial (2011). His works are held in public and private collections, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the British Museum, Tate Modern, the Devi Art Foundation, the JP Morgan Chase Art Collection, and the Rubell Family Collection. 

Hesam Rahmanian (b. Knoxville, 1980) lives and works in Dubai. Rahmanian has had solo exhibitions at Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai (2013); Paradise Row, London (2011); and Traffic, Dubai (2010). He participated in a group show at the Royal College of Art, London, as one of eight finalists for the MOP CAP 2011 prize.

Callicoon Fine Arts is located at 49 Delancey Street between Forsyth and Eldridge Streets. Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday, 10am to 6pm. The nearest subway stops are the B and D trains at Grand Street and the F, J, M and Z trains at Delancey-Essex Street.

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