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Review: Amir Nikravan Paintings at Home in Intellectualized Hall of Mirrors

originally posted on: Los Angeles Times by Leah Ollman
October 24, 2014

Amir Nikravan’s paintings occupy the preternaturally calm eye of a cerebral storm. They spur a heady buzz of questions, yet are rather quiet, visually. They exist for the sake of contradiction and complication.

Painterly illusion has always been a conceptual exercise, long before that particular approach to art-making was granted a capital C. Fooling the eye into perceiving three dimensions on a two-dimensional plane is a mind game, backed by extreme technical finesse.

The L.A.-based Nikravan plays it deftly. His recent canvases, at Various Small Fires, are flat but read as textured, as covered with impastoed brushstrokes in an allover flurry or criss-crossing bands, as fields of webbing in shallow relief.

Monochromes in shades of slate and iridescent cobalt, the pieces are impeccable, uncanny, elusively beautiful, close cousins to Tauba Auerbach’s spray paintings of a few years ago that mimic wrinkled and folded surfaces.

Read the article at Los Angeles Times
Photo: Paintings by Amir Nikravan are at Various Small Fires. (Various Small Fires)

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