Artist Spotlight Series - Designer Najla El Zein curates the best of art from across MENASA
Years of Culture
Nazgol Ansarinia – Iran
I came across Nazgol Ansarinia’s works for the first time at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in 2014. A selection of her works was exhibited such as the Pattern Series and Reflections/ Refractions. In these works, I was drawn by her subtle ability to use the notion of traditional Persian craft and graphics to portray a contemporary concept.
In Patterns, Nazgol uses the original structure of a Persian carpet to illustrate miniatures of different sceneries, personal moments and events that she experiences from her daily life in Tehran, using humour and dramatisation.
Indeed, Nazgol’s work is directly inspired by the city and her practice is an analytical interpretation and understanding of Iranian culture as well as its social and socioeconomic system. She documents a contemporary Tehran while celebrating and criticising the relation between its cultural memory and evolution.
Selected here: 4March2012 - Untitled III - Dissolving Substances - Commercial high rise / mosque with turquoise dome on Molasard street
Saba Innab – Palestine/Jordan
Saba Innab is a Palestinian and Jordanian artist, urban researcher and architect based between Amman and Beirut. I still feel very moved by her 2016 solo show for Marfa’Gallery called Al Rahhala (The Traveler), where she presented a series of architectural sculptures and models of dramatic beauty and powerful meaning.
Saba’s profile is particularly interesting as she uses architecture as a means of expressing her activism. She is an architect, a sculptor and a painter, and it is through these mediums of various nature and scales that she has been developing one main project: understanding and examining the relationship between memory, land, space and structure, in relation to the history of the Palestinian people, their exile and migration.
Selected here: Then We Realized, Time Is Stone - Detail from "Station Point “ - Do You Remember All Those Gates? - Blueprint (II)
About The Curator: Najla El Zein
Born in Beirut in 1983, Najla El Zein was raised in Paris, where she studied product design and interior architecture at the École Camondo.
Based between Amsterdam and Beirut, El Zein's sculptural artworks tell stories through objects and materials, exploring the relationship between form, use and space.
Her work has been shown at numerous public institutions and acquired by museums including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Dallas Museum of Art for their permanent collections.