Amir H. Fallah creates paintings, sculptures, and installations that utilize personal history as an entry point to discuss race, representation, the body, and the memories of cultures and countries left behind. Through this process, the artist’s works employ nuanced and emotive narratives that evoke an inquiry about identity, the immigrant experience, and the history of portraiture.
Fallah interrogates systems of representation embedded in the history of Western art. His ornate environments combine visual vocabularies of painting and collage with elements of installation to deconstruct material modes of identity formation. Portraits of veiled subjects capitalize on ambiguity to skillfully weave fact and fiction, while questioning how to create a portrait without representing the physicality of the sitter. While the stories that surround his subjects are deeply personal and are told through the intimate possessions they hold most dear, his work addresses generational immigrant experiences of movement, trauma, and celebration. Fallah wryly incorporates Western art historical references into paintings formally rooted in the pattern-based visual language of Islamic Art. In doing so, his paintings possess a hybridity that reflects his own background as an Iranian-American immigrant straddling cultures.
Amir H. Fallah was born in Tehran, Iran in 1979. He received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001 and his MFA from University of California Los Angeles in 2005. Amir has exhibited widely in solo shows across the United States and in the Middle East. These include Almost Home, The Third Line, Dubai, UAE (2017); Unknown Voyage, Schneider Museum of Art, Oregon, USA (2017); The Caretaker, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, USA (2015); We Must Risk Delight-Twenty Artists from Los Angeles, 56th La Biennale di Venezia, Venice, Italy (2015); Theory Of Survival: Fabrications, Southern Exposure, San Francisco, CA, USA (2014); SUPERCALLAFRAGILEMYSTICEXTASY-DIOECIOUS, Lancaster Museum of Art and History, Lancaster, CA, USA (2013); Show Off, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE (2011); and Provisions for the Future, 9th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (2009).
Amir is a 2017 recipient of the California Community Foundation Fellowship for Visual Artists and a 2015 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. His works are part of several collections, including the Microsoft Art Collection, USA; the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, KS, USA; and the Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE.