The Third Line is pleased to welcome back Amir H. Fallah, who will be exhibiting a selection of works in the Project Space, with a solo show to follow in December this year. In The Arrangement, Fallah works with mixed media and collage as his signature style, presenting works of floral arrangements appropriated from the Dutch/Flemish renaissance tradition of floral still-life painting.
For this project, Fallah studied the floral still life paintings of the Golden Age and used iconic visual vocabulary to merge them with contemporary painting techniques that are present within his practice. Each painting in the exhibition is based on a seminal floral still life by a Dutch/Flemish master and has been reinterpreted and rearranged in both its visual and physical form.
The referenced artworks have been put through a methodical process of dissecting the imagery, element by element, first in digital form and then in the execution phase. Floral elements are lifted from their context and placed anew in compositions that continually change as they are worked upon. Fallah builds the work in layers, adding collaged printouts, reproduced images as well as painting directly below and above these layers. In doing so, the artist has been able to strip apart the process of classical still life painting and give each element a separate identity and importance in the new compositions, thus reimagining the historical images. Flowers that were once painstakingly painted in oil have been transformed into digital reproductions; leaves that wove in and out of the painting have been replaced by colored paper cut-outs in geometric shapes; Trompe l'oeil insects and creatures are now remade into abstractions; and colors that were once dark and sullen are bright and flamboyant.
Through a starkly different interpretation, this series of paintings not only questions the notion of appropriation throughout art history but also presents a fresh and electrifying take on one of the most iconic painting motifs throughout history – and in doing so, creates a new arrangement.