For her second solo exhibition at Franz Kaka, artist Azadeh Elmizadeh presents a series of seven paintings centred around two ancient Persian mythological characters—sisters— who have travelled through generations and across geographical divides, appearing in an array of ancient texts such as the pre-Islamic Zoroastrian text, Avesta, the lost book Hezar Afsan, the Modern Persian epic entitled Shahnameh (Persian Book of Kings) by poet Ferdowsi, as well as in the renowned One Thousand and One Nights.
In her quintessential atmospheric style, Elmizadeh conjures the ghosts of these two characters and captures narrative motifs from several of the texts in which they appear, embracing a rhizomatic approach to their representation. The artist plays with the fluid nature of oral histories and their mutable quality, which can also be attributed to the emancipatory metanarrative associated with the two sisters and their relationship to storytelling itself. On a third level, the materiality of paint and the process of painting echo this representational agency of transforming and shaping matter openly, leaving space for a plurality of readings and meanings.
Azadeh Elmizadeh (b. 1987) is a visual artist based in Toronto who works between painting and collage. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from OCAD and Tehran University. Elmizadeh has presented solo and two-person exhibitions at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, AB) and Franz Kaka (Toronto, ON). Her work has been exhibited internationally at Public Gallery (London, UK) curated by Rose Nestler; The Blackwood (Mississauga, ON) curated by Noor Bhangu; Kamloops Art Gallery curated by Charo Neville; Birch Contemporary (Toronto, ON); Boarding House Gallery (Guelph, ON). Elmizadeh was the recipient of the 2020 Joseph Plaskett Award in painting. This is her second solo exhibition at Franz Kaka, Toronto.