Iman Raad | Frieze New York 2020: Dastan's Basement
"In Her Sweetest, Saddest Plight", a solo presentation of recent works by Iman Raad. Opening May 8-15 with a Preview May 6-7, more than 200 galleries will present major works by established and emerging artists in a virtual gallery space as part of the Frieze New York edition.
Dastan is pleased to announce its participation at Frieze Online Viewing Room with a solo presentation of works by Iman Raad titled “In Her Sweetest, Saddest Plight”. The presentation features two main bodies of work: a series of large-scale acrylic paintings on canvas and a selection of reverse glass paintings, both presented for the first time.
Iman Raad (b. 1979, Mashhad, Iran) currently lives and works in New York City. He holds an
MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale University. He is a resident at the Queens Museum
Studio Program and an adjunct faculty at The Cooper Union School of Art. His artworks have
been exhibited at numerous international art venues and have been acquired by many renowned
collections, including the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), the Flag Art
Foundation (New York), Centro Cultural La Moneda (Santiago, Chile), Sargent's Daughters
Gallery (New York), The British Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), and
Allentown Art Museum. In 2018, his large-scale mural, Days of Bliss and Woe, together with the
embroidered banners of Garden Nights, were commissioned for 'The 9th Asia Pacific Triennial
of Contemporary Art' (Brisbane, Australia), with the former acquired for Queensland Art Gallery
and Gallery of Modern Art collection.
Iman Raad's prolific practice includes a variety of media from painting, drawing, and
embroidery, to graphic design and performance lectures. His works are imbued with influences
from Persian painting, Mughal painting, South-Asian truck painting, and digital glitch imagery.
He combines these local references with digital image culture and contemporary subject matter
to create his diverse works ranging from paintings on glass to mural-scale wall installations.
Using a vivid, high-key palette, altered perspective, and repetition, he creates a riot of colour and
movement that is both seductive and unsettling.
This presentation of Iman Raad's recent still-life paintings depicts combinations of oversized
objects. Be it a bird or a bowl, a flower or a fruit, each object seems to be enclosed within a
frame and trapped in domestic settings against a flattened background. The objects are mostly
depicted in contrasting tones and distorted perspectives, revealing the artist's background in
graphic design, his references to Persian Miniature, and his interest in popular prints and
The pieces in “In Her Sweetest, Saddest Plight” also feature Iman Raad's more recent approach
to representations of light and reflection. By placing objects alternately facing or against a
twilight background, the artist makes shadows disappear, once again highlighting flatness as a
dominant feature of his imagery. This aspect is also emphasized in his distinctive technique that employs thin layers of diluted acrylic paint on raw canvas, creating deftly punctuated tones of light across the picture's surface.