Works by Iranian artists on view at cyanotype exhibit in Belgium

August 1, 2021 - 18:44

TEHRAN – A group exhibition of cyanotypes underway at Ingrid Deuss Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium is showcasing works by Iranian artists Gohar Dashti and Arash Fakhim.

The exhibit named “Blues” is also hanging works by five other pioneering artists from the United States, Belgium, Japan, Sweden and the United Kingdom who each explore in their original and uncompromising way the historic photographic process of cyanotypes, the gallery has announced.

The showcase that opened on July 9 is curated by Dutch artist Joost Vandebrug and will run until September 4.

Dashti’s experience of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war weighs on her artistic work. 

Her cyanotypes in this exhibition are of organic material that she destroyed and fractured before photographing it, thereby commenting on the beauty of the natural world while also acknowledging the damaging effects humans can have on it.

The Netherlands-based Fakhim uses cyanotypes to create installations that live in their own world, far from the conventional assumptions with which this technique is often associated. 

His works show echoes and traces that were left by objects while exposing cyanotypes in the sun.

Cyanotypes were first discovered by Sir John Herschel in 1842 as a simple and low-cost process to produce copies of notes and drawings. Engineers and architects used this process well into the 20th century and the prints were referred to as blueprints.

Soon after its discovery, it was adopted by artists who were captivated by the rich blue shades of the technique, most notably, the photographer Anna Atkins. Her book with cyanotypes was the first to be photographically printed and illustrated. Anna Atkins (1799–1871) was also considered the first female photographer.

Her book “Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions” will be re-printed by Steidl as a limited edition clamshell box and is expected to be on sale from the summer of 2021. A copy of the book will be presented as part of the exhibition.

Mika Horie from Japan is another artist participating in the art show. Horie’s delicate and intimate cyanotypes are exposed by the sun on paper that she makes herself from the bark of the locally sourced Gampi tree in her native village in Japan.

The exhibition also displays works by Ivan Forde from the United States. 

Through his work, Ivan retells stories from epic poetry, casting himself as every character to reflect on migration, memory and homeland. 

Works by Erika Rodin from Sweden have also been selected for the event. Reconstructing her own identity and heritage by the use of cyanotypes, Rodin’s photographic objects consist of meticulously selected pieces of blue Heartwood from her family forest in Sweden. 

Timo Lieber from the United Kingdom is also attending the exhibit with several works. Lieber is using the cyanotype process to chart the metamorphosis of melting ice. The physicality of the ice crystals melting on the surface of the paper leaves traces of its presence. 

Julie van der Vaart from Belgium is another artist at the exhibition. Julie’s work is strongly rooted in experimental and historic photographic techniques. Her photographs show intimate encounters with human forms, presented like precious relics. Her cyanotypes in this exhibition are printed on fabric.

Photo: A cyanotype by Iranian artist Gohar Dashti on view at an exhibition at Ingrid Deuss Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium.


Leave a Comment

0 + 0 =