PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Fort Worth March 2021

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T he singular show to see in the Texas art world this month is "Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again," the most extensive presentation of the Iranian-born, Berkeley-educated artist's work ever. Organized by The Broad museum, Los Angeles, the 30-year survey travels to The Modern for its final stop. A refugee from her country's turmoil who came to the U.S. when she was 17, Neshat burst onto the art scene in the late 1990s. She's become a staple of innumerable international biennials; her immersive, hypnotic videos highlight the gender divide in Iran after the revolution, ritualistically mourning her homeland's beauty and rich traditions. Her seminal photography is included in The Modern's retrospective, beginning with the feminist, layered "Women of Allah" series (1993-1997) and on to recent works of photography and video that speak to our time and place in fractured America, as realized hauntingly by Neshat's 2019 pair of video installations filmed in New Mexico, America: Land of Dreams and The Colony. Concurrently, New York-based painter Leidy Churchman, the subject of early spring's Focus exhibition curated by the museum's Alison Hearst, combines the beautiful with the banal, along with the artist's practice of Buddhism, to craft deceptively simple paintings that are disarming. In a pendant Focus exhibition, again curated by The Modern's Alison Hearst, Wael Shawky — who studios between Alexandria, Egypt, and Philadelphia, PA — confronts events from the past, encompassing the Crusades and the history of the Arab peninsula, melding myth and memory via filmmaking, drawing, sculpture, and even marionettes. The latter populate this multimedia magician's video series "Cabaret Crusades." Issues of geopolitics and religion from centuries gone by illuminate this region of the world today, due to Shawky's fanciful puppetry. "Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again," through May 16; "Focus: Leidy Churchman," through March 21; "Focus: Wael Shawky," April 2 through June 20; FROM TOP: IMAGE © SHIRIN NESHAT, COURTESY THE ARTIST AND GLADSTONE GALLERY, NYC AND BRUSSELS; © LEIDY CHURCHMAN, COURTESY MATTHEW MARKS GALLERY, NYC. xxxxxxxx THE MODERN'S TRIPLE PLAY: BY CATHERINE D. ANSPON XXXXXX SHIRIN NESHAT + LEIDY CHURCHMAN + WAEL SHAWKY This spring, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth unfurls a blockbuster for today's most compelling video artist/photographic talent, paired with two intimate Focus exhibitions. All three headliners allude to globalism, shifting borders, constructs of cultural identity, religion, and the concept of The Other. Above: Shirin Neshat's Untitled (Women of Allah), 1996. Bottom: Leidy Churchman's Reclining Buddha, 2020. Both artists' exhibitions on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. 32

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