The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is presenting the first United States exhibition by Iranian artist Naeemeh Naeemaei. The exhibition is held from June 15 to Dec. 31.
The exhibition features work from two series, “Dreams Before Extinction” and “Under the Earth, Over the Moon”. Art host an Iranian artist
“Naeemeh’s work is such a surprise,” said Jill Hartz, the museum’s executive director and the exhibition’s curator. “She is such an accomplished painter, and her themes, focusing on endangered species and Iranian village life. Their stories draw us in so completely that we find ourselves in her world,”
Naeemaei uses her real dreams and memories to evoke an emotional response from the viewers of her work. “Dreams Before Extinction” addressed the loss of wild animals in Iran and elsewhere.
Naeemaei’s work was first brought to American audiences in a bilingual book featuring the paintings. It was published by Perceval Press in 2013 and republished this year in conjunction with the exhibition.
“I use my dreams, wishes, memorabilia and legends, plus information about the species, to extend my imagination,” Naeemeh Naeemaei said. “In each painting, I’ve lived with the animal in my mind. It is deep connection.”
Naeemeh Naeemaei’s inspiration
As the story goes, during the season of collecting firewood, her beautiful voice attracts the leopard. and gradually they became friends. The story turned into a tragedy when the leopard was shot by a villager who was in love with Mina.
“A few years ago, I went to Mina’s village and in spite of some renovations, her house was still there. With its yard and tree,” Naeemeh Naeemaei said. “During several trips to the area, I talked to people, took pictures and developed my ideas until today. Now three (including a tryptich) of an anticipated 15 paintings are ready to be shown here. You may find Mina somewhere in a painting, or me in her place in another piece. It’s also possible you won’t find none of us but still sense something that has remained of us, something like a deep sorrow and a deeper love.”
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1984, Naeemeh Naeemaei received her bachelor’s degree in art in 2006 from Tehran Art University. Her major was sculpture. Naeemeh’s paintings and sculptures have been displayed in Tehran as well as Berlin.