Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art opens Siah Armajani: An Ingenious World

Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art opens Siah Armajani: An Ingenious World on view 18 September – 15 December 2013.

Siah Armajani: Alfred Whitehead Reading Room, 2013. Wood, plexiglass, brass, glass, 244 x 366 x 488 cm. Commissioned by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art on the occasion of the exhibition Siah Armajani: An Ingenious World Siah Armajani: NOAA Bridge, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, 1982. Painted wood, wood, 23.5 x 30.5 x

Siah Armajani: Alfred Whitehead Reading Room, 2013. Wood, plexiglass, brass, glass, 244 x 366 x 488 cm. Commissioned by Parasol unit foundation for contemporary art on the occasion of the exhibition Siah Armajani: An Ingenious World
Siah Armajani: NOAA Bridge, National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, Seattle, 1982. Painted wood, wood, 23.5 x 30.5 x


Siah Armajani, is internationally renowned for his extensive public art commissions, which include bridges, reading rooms and poetry gardens. This exhibition traces the artist’s early works on paper, made in Iran during the late 1950s, to his mature works, including his most recent structure, the Alfred Whitehead Reading Room, 2013, specifically created for the outdoor space at Parasol unit, London.

Armajani’s work is rooted in his own Persian cultural heritage, his knowledge of Western philosophy, literature and poetry, and his interest in American vernacular architecture. His early works are distinguished by a poetic use of Persian script, a manipulation of traditional techniques and a bold vision that employs various media to serve his artistic intent. The combination of text, idea and the peculiar use of space to be observed in these early works has continued into his later works, in many of which poetry or a philosophical statement is an important element.

Armajani’s post university works are often astute architectural models, inspired by generic structures and conveying the idea of house or bridge. In Armajani’s structures the idea always has priority over function. His belief in democracy and open communication as essential requirements for a healthy society, along with his philosophical and political interests, eventually led him to create art in the public realm. His works are housed in some of the world’s most important museum collections.

Born 1939 in Tehran, Siah Armajani now lives and works in Minneapolis, MN, USA.

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