Kamrooz Aram’s diverse practice often engages the complicated relationship between traditional non-Western art and Western Modernism. Through a variety of forms including painting, collage, drawing, printmaking and installation, Aram has found the potential for image- making to function critically in its use as a tool for a certain renegotiation of history.
Aram’s works reveal the essential role that ornament played in the development of Modern art in the West. Taking floral motifs from Persian carpets, Aram repeatedly reconfigures them into painterly mediations, building the pattern, destroying it and rebuilding again, resulting in explosive images, always in a state of flux. His lush works form repetitive patterns that coax new meaning from the chaos of fragments. Aram complicates the relationship between ornament and decoration, revealing the history of ornament as a drive towards the absence of figuration, a movement to wards abstraction.
Another aspect of his practice considers the carefully constructed neutrality of museum displays as a primary site of encountering artworks. Along with the reproduction and circulation of artworks in catalogues and art history texts, these displays work to historicize them in their original context, often inculcating a sense of cultural nostalgia along the way. Through photography, collage and installation, Aram teases out the temporal and cultural distance that results in artworks becoming contextualized, and reproduced as artifacts.
Kamrooz Aram (born in 1978, Shiraz, Iran) received his BFA from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2001 and MFA from Columbia University in 2003.
Aram is the winner of the Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014; he has also been awarded grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts (2004) and the Jacob K. Javits Fellowship Program (2001-2003). His work is in the collections of The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia; The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Texas, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; Cincinnati Art Museum, Ohio; The FLAG Foundation, New York; and Deutsche Bank Collection among others. Aram’s practice has been widely featured and reviewed in publications such as The New York Times, Art in America, Artforum.com, ArtAsiaPacific, The New Yorker, The National and Bidoun.