Originally published in Artweek, October 2000
New Work by Habib Kheradyar at LINC Real Art
LINC Real Art's second exhibition is an exceptional one, featuring ephemeral work by Los Angeles artist Habib Kheradyar. Using modest materials, Kheradyar creates shrouds of color and mystery with echoes of op art, pop art, minimalism and psychedelia.
These simple structures consist of thin vividly colored translucent fabrics stretched over wire armatures embedded in wooden panels. The wire bulges a few inches in front of the surface causing the fabrics to emit patterns, shadows and illusions onto the wood supports. Marvelous moiré patterns emerge and the works themselves seem to shift and change as the viewer walks around the room. These changes add to the sense of fluidity and flux in the works.
The works in this exhibition (all made in 2000) were created specifically for this exhibition space. "Untitled (purple/red)"; "Untitled (pink/turquoise)"; "Untitled (silver/purple)" are all small to medium sized with the color combinations noted in their titles. The pieces are made up of two monochrome rectangles abutted against the other in a horizontal format. The shapes made by the wires mimic each other to constitute two halves of a whole. It is the pairing of the colors that is integral to the success of the works, to the works themselves. This duality, the tension between the two halves creates a resonance in the room that is almost palpable.
Waves of vibrations emanate from the wire forms, oscillating circles and half moons: glowing, otherworldly, but firmly grounded by their materiality. Although the actual materials and not only light and space comprise the pieces, the works play with the illusion of space and light. In the largest piece "Untitled (lemon/lime)" energy reverberates and its echoes are seen as well as felt. A lavender rectangle appears in the viewer's vision after looking at this piece for awhile - an alluring afterimage securing the work's relationship to its op -art antecedents.
These works are magically ethereal and visually seductive. Kheradyar uses acid drenched color to produce a pop infused spirituality. Born and raised in Iran before moving to Los Angeles, Kheradyar's work perhaps alludes to the mysterious veiling of women's bodies that he witnessed as a boy mingled with the vibrantly colored wonderland he found in Los Angeles. Whatever the intent or the background, a sense of mystery and mysticism does exist in the actual works themselves.
Reinventing painting is a popular pastime in our post-millennial postmodern world. Here Kheradyar beautifully breaks out of the frame, if not the framework. The only weak link, (please excuse the pun), is "Untitled (Pearl)", a small opaque piece lacking the luminosity of it's radiant siblings.
Linc Real Art is the latest project of San Francisco based artist Charles Lindner who began and ran Refusalon for many years. Interestingly, Kheradyar is a gallerist as well; he is the proprietor of the esteemed POST in Los Angeles.
With recent exhibitions at Pierogi 2000 in New York and at LA Louver in Los Angeles, perhaps Kheradyar's focus has turned towards his own work. Kheradyar recently closed POST's Wilshire space but POST's home base in downtown Los Angeles remains. In any event, it appears that the work of this arresting artist is finally getting the space and attention it deserves.
Habib Kheradyar New Work closed in early December at Linc Real Art located at One Otis Street (above National Car Rental) at Mission and South Van Ness. Gallery hours are Thursday through Saturday from 12-5 and by appointment. Call 415/503-1981 for more information.
Amy Berk is an artist, writer and educator living in San Francisco.