Dio Horia Gallery announces the solo exhibition of Amir H. Fallah titled You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know. This is the first solo exhibition of the artist in Athens and the second with Dio Horia Gallery. The exhibition opens on Tuesday, September 7 and will run until October 4, 2021.
‘You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know’presents Amir H. Fallah’s virtuosically multifaceted compositions that bring together disparate elements of popular and traditional cultures into to create intricate, visually delectable ensembles that reflect on the irreducible complexity of identity and character.
While always deeply personal by design, this new body of work comes from a place of a special intimacy for the artist, focusing on Fallah’s family and close friends. The exhibition also marks the first time his figurative work is shown alongside a new corpus of what the artist refers to as “grids”, highlighting the kinship between their respective philosophical foundations. The latter jettison the individual figure in favor of a complex interweaving of references and cultural touchpoints that together reflect on the structures and founding processes of private value systems.
Fallah’s work is as much embedded in the legacy of traditional Persian miniatures as it is in that of Robert Rauschenberg’s “flatbed picture” and in its embodiment of the complicated jumble of personified memory, heritage passed through tradition, and the intrusive cultural forces of our commercialized visual matrix jointly constitutive of person-formation.
Visually delectable, opulent, and, above all, joyful, the works in the exhibition, immediate accessibility is what renders them both relatable and irresistible. A few of the titles are, in fact, meditations addressed to the artist’s son (he is present throughout himself, observing the proceedings through an avatar of a cartoon piglet from his favorite childhood book), The Only Devil in Your Way Is Apathy, What Hurts You Blesses You, or Build Borderless Worlds – coded messages that carry meaning within every single one of their purposefully selective founding elements, becoming decipherable in a million unique and different ways singular to their viewer.
All of these works are borne of a lengthy, deliberate process that begins with the artist laboriously collecting, collaging, and arranging endless clippings, sketches, photographs, and sampled patterns into multi-layered, dizzyingly complex Photoshop assemblages. These files are then dexterously reproduced on canvases in a technique that knowingly rewards close contemplation by employing a loosely expressive painterly detail that belies its initial impression of seamless luster – just like the seemingly ad-hoc nature of these works’ imagery belies the profound and poetic deliberation of their composition.