USC Pacific Asia Museum

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Obstacleism: Paintings by Farr Ligvani

Farr Ligvani

New Ancient, by Farr Ligvani. 2009, Mixed media on board. Courtesy of the artist

January 13 - February 26, 2012 Contemporary Gallery

Born in Tehran and educated in California, Ligvani focuses his art on  ideas of life and evolution. As the artist wrestled with obstacles, his approach to them changed. He chose to view these impediments as a chance to pause and think more deeply about his immediate condition, thereby opening a door to a more profound understanding of life. Obstacles can lead us to the balance between any two opposing forces by providing a space for reconciliation, self-editing and change. Reflecting upon this realization, Ligvani coined the term ‘Obstacleism’. In his practice, he uses abstraction to visualize these ideas. Line, the fundamental element in his work, functions as a visual trace of his psychological journey. Circles and other geometric shapes formed by a matrix of lines are the artist’s encoded descriptions of obstacles in life. Continuously shifting patterns against modulating hues further embody the concept of ‘Obstacleism,’ alluding to the creative potential between opposing phenomena. The resulting subtle but visually rich canvases exude a meditative quality, offering the viewer a moment of contemplation in full and sometimes fraught lives.