Hoch wie nie: imaginary landscapes and the creatures who live there

Two person exhibition featuring Leila Seyedzadeh & Marlene Bart
May 21, 2022 to July 9, 2022

GALERIE Peter Gaugy is pleased to present a two-person exhibition featuring the work of Leila Seyedzadeh and Marlene Bart. Each of these artists are exploring very different positions in contemporary art, yet a common quality they share is that both use research and gather artistic materials to assemble their work rather than filling in details from a broader statement. In this way the details matter, and gives each of their pieces more of the quality of thoughtful reflection, intimacy and a sense of discovery.

Leila Seyedzadeh

Tehran born and New York based Leila Seyedzadeh’s work uses a visual poetic language that focuses on indirect reference and landscapes immersed in a sense of placelessness. Influenced by Persian miniatures, her much larger textile works are richly detailed using multiple visual elements that hint at mountainous forms and integrate non-western compositional techniques, relying on a layering of patterned shapes, rather than a depth of vision to convey mass and space.  
In this exhibition, her landscape “paintings” are created using a variety of hand-dyed fabrics from Iran, including fragments of chador namaz, a light-colored indoor garment with patterned details worn by women during prayer, Persian wool termeh from Isfahan, silk and cotton textiles, and delicate fringe. In one piece she has interwoven fragments of a paper envelope sent by her brother with visible words that include Tehran, New York, Iran and Brooklyn symbolizing the dual and conflicting nature of her identity. 
Leila Seyedzadeh assembles these materials into the appearance of landscapes, carefully arranging the various patterns into a collage-like composition before sewing everything in. This hand work is vital to her process and helps unite her work in New York with the artisans of the original fabrics. 
A long tradition of Iranian art relies on visual metaphors over direct representation to depict meaning, and her work carries within it deep memories of a rich and vibrant culture that sustains her, even as her career as an artist has taken her far from home. Her paintings hold a poetic longing for a more understanding and nuanced world.
Leila Seyedzadeh received her MFA from Yale University of Art in 2019 and is currently teaching art at the Pratt Institute in New York City. 

Marlene Bart

Berlin-based Marlene Bart is an artistically researching encyclopedist whose current work focuses on the visual architecture of knowledge systems that define the origins of natural history. Using a variety of media from bookmaking, printmaking, and taxidermy, to glass sculpture and virtual reality, Marlene Bart examines the visual origins of the hierarchical ordering of natural phenomena.
In her work she reimagines and recontextualizes these images from natural sciences back to the field of art showing us how our systems of taxonomy were conceived and created more through acts of the imagination than is realized. In this exhibition, she will be presenting work from her ongoing Theatrum Radix series including the screen printing of contemporary interpretations of early-modern ‘encyclopedic’ images onto reflective holographic paper.
She will also be introducing to Vienna a virtual reality work that recently debuted at the Recto VRso Digital Art Festival in Laval, France. Using as a launching point Italian renaissance philosopher, Guido Camillo’s idea of the Theater of Memory, Marlene Bart, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum, Berlin and the renowned digital art studio Ikonospace has created a virtual interpretation of his encyclopedia of knowledge in Berlin’s historic Tieranatomisches Theater.
Here the viewer is encouraged to virtually wander through the various tranches of knowledge that are hierarchically arranged in the ascending tiers of the theater suggesting Camillo’s ideal of the spatial encyclopedia.
This virtual reality work can be experienced in the gallery. 
Marlene Bart is currently finishing her PhD. at the Bauhaus University-Weimar, Germany.