Recent Select Exhibitions and More

"We Are Too Dull Eyed to See that Beauty," South Beach Promenade, Staten Island, New York, June 3-18 2023

Presented by Alice Austen House for Photoville

The images on display will be part of a series of photographs that I have taken over the past two years at various beaches and state parks in Staten Island. The title of my work, “We Are Too Dull-eyed to See that Beauty” is an excerpt from the poem Zen Circle by the Persian poet, Rumi, and is the inspiration behind these images.

Yes, And,  at the Staten Island Museum, Staten Island, New York, June 10, 2022- April 2, 2023

Yes, And  presents recent work in video, performance, painting, photography, installation, drawing, and more. Together, thirty-six artists express themes of connectivity, resilience, and vitality, reflecting this time in history when a global pandemic continues to teach us the fundamental importance of relationships and the meaning of place. This hyperlocal exhibition references life on an island, legacies of self-determination, land development over time, and the enduring power of nature.

Yes, And  explores what it means to be connected to Staten Island. The theme “yes, and” suggests the abundance of experience on and perception of Staten Island. This complicated and prodigious borough contains a multitude of narratives that cumulatively offer an earnest impression of life in the United States. The title is a reference to a classic improv rule-of-thumb requiring performers to accept what another participant is suggesting, and then build on it. In this way, Yes, And  presents an expansive theme for artists to consider and encourages the open sharing of ideas and perspectives.

A Culture of Poetry: Zahra Pars, Aerogramme Arts Center Artist Interview, June 2022

Interview Excerpt"I think what makes Iranians or Iranian Americans different from “Westerners” is that we come from a culture of poetry, whereas the West created the novel and there is greater value placed on individuality and personal narratives. My father for example memorized every verse from Hafez, and would continually recite Hafez’s poems out loud regardless of whether or not everyone in the room understood him. He was expressing himself, but he was doing so, through this filter of poetry, and to me as a child it seemed rather esoteric and abstract. And now that I am an adult, I find that painting abstractly correlates to poetry insofar as it is less precise and more ethereal and ephemeral. Abstraction in my mind is more connected to the euphemisms and emotional grey areas that poetry affords. I am not sure if it’s cultural or not, but I am also a rather private person and as such, working abstractly feels more comfortable." -Zahra Pars

FAILINGS, at Ejecta Projects, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, April 2 – May 21, 2022

Failings, as a concept, implies a perceived shortcoming. Imagined as a moral deficit, a material miscalculation, or some other misalignment of desire verses outcome, failings, or one’s failure, is typically perceived as negative. And yet, a successful studio practice – explicitly courting failure by defying expectations, taking risks, and pushing material or conceptual boundaries – frequently defines avant-garde achievements, professional success, and creativity in general.

Excerpt from the curatorial statement from Failings...

Zahra Pars' "abstract painting is intricately rendered and labor- intensive. The subtleties of her composition and exquisite attention to detailed mark- making -- (are) clear evidence of artistic rigor and tenacity.”

Other Ways of Seeing, at the Plaxall Gallery, Culture Lab, Long Island City, New York, January 6 – February 6, 2022

“Other Ways of Seeing is a celebration of Alternative Processes in photography, allowing us to look at the work of the artists in real size; from small pieces to gigantic ones, to feel the touch of the paper, to appreciate the delicacy of some processes, and the richness of the tonality that they used. All the artists in the show not only have a mastery of their technique, giving a unique voice to their work, but also a strong vision that brings even more depth to art dealing with subjects like global warming, gun violence, the feminist struggle, memory, and of course the human condition." – Pierre-Yves Linot