Modern Forms in Medieval Manuscript Compositions, 2014-2017

Modern Forms in Medieval Manuscript Compositions, 2014-2017

Tusi; detail

Modern Forms in Medieval Manuscript Compositions, 2015-2017

I convert the pages of texts, images and diagrams of the medieval manuscripts into black silhouettes. Acting as a new visual language, these silhouettes present the medieval imagery through simplicity and absence of didactic textual information while offering more compositional opportunities in my installations and prints. For creating these black silhouettes, I draw inspiration from the Russian Suprematist artists El Lissitzky (1890-1941) and Kazimir Malevich (1878-1935). These artists were in search of a style of abstract painting based on geometric shapes, which they believed promoted the supremacy of pure artistic feeling over the depiction of objects. Like Suprematists’ works, my black shapes aim to engage the “pure feelings” of my audiences through simplicity and absence of didactic information. I want to explore the ways in which viewers respond to form both visually and conceptually.

Left: Buttercup, Houseleek
Right: Asparagus and Black Henna

silkscreen on paper, 2017, each: 30″ x 22″
After Herbal of al-Ghafiqi, Botanical Manuscript, 12th c., Andalusia
Top: the original pages of the manuscripts
Bottom: my black silhouettes

Left: Diagram of the Winds and Four Lakes of the World, 2017, silkscreen on paper, 30”x 22”
Above left & right: pages from The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes, by an unknown 11th c. Arab cartographer
Bottom left and right: my black silhouettes of the manuscript pages

Right: The Indus River and Sources of the Nile River, 2017, silkscreen on paper, 30”x 22”
Above left & right: pages from The Book of Curiosities of the Sciences and Marvels for the Eyes, by an unknown 11th c. Arab cartographer
Bottom left and right: my black silhouettes of the manuscript pages

Cinnamon Tree, silkscreen on paper, 2015, 22″ x 30″
Right: An illustration and description of a Cinnamon tree in the 10th-century manuscript of Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica reproduced by Razi in Arabic (Persian scientist, 10th c.)
Left: My black silhouette of the manuscript page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Persian Gulf Map, 2016, silkscreen on paper, 22″×30″
After Estakhri’s 10th c. Persian Gulf maps
Right: Estakhri’s Persian Gulf map and the islands around it, from the masalik al-mamalik “Traditions of Countries” manuscript, 10th c.
Left: My black silhouette of Estakhri’s map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kepler, 2015, silkscreen on paper, 22”x 30”
Right: a page from Kepler’s manuscript on optics (German astronomer, 17th c.)
Left: my black silhouettes of the manuscript page