Internationally Deconstructing Creation

Photo courtesy of Zahra Nazari.
Photo courtesy of Zahra Nazari.
Photo courtesy of Zahra Nazari.

Zahra Nazari is an artist who has traveled to paint a picture of the world as she has seen it — literally.

Nazari recently solo exhibited “Deconstructing Scapes” at the Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester from December 5, 2013 through January 19, 2014.

“Deconstructing Scapes” showcased paintings and prints of imaginary landscapes from work Nazari has done from 2012 through 2013. It consisted of eleven abstract cityscapes, including aerial views, distorted perspectives and combinations of different architectural time periods, Nazari said.

Nazari earned her Bachelors of Fine Arts from the School of Art & Architecture, Tabriz in 2007 and is currently working toward an MFA degree in painting and drawing at New Paltz.

Raised in Hamedan, Iran, one of the oldest cities in the world, Nazari said she grew up surrounded by archaeological excavations and the resulting artifacts, and that visiting ancient sites has always been a considerable influence on her work.

Nazari said she began her undergraduate career painting with a direct observational approach, but then started to find a more personal style, and said she was painting semi-realistic landscapes by the end of undergraduate school.

“I have absolutely grown as an artist because of the great professors who’ve always been very supportive and have encouraged me a lot throughout my art career,” Nazari said.

Printmaking Assistant Professor Jill Parisi, the external advisor for Nazari’s thesis show, said Nazari is highly energetic and very focused on her studies and in moving forward in her life as an artist.

Among Nazari’s professional opportunities have been residencies, lectures about her work, solo exhibitions, interviews for positions as a Visiting Assistant Professor next year and a year as Lecture Coordinator for the Student Art Alliance, according to Parisi.

“She has been looking ahead to life after she completes her degree and working towards the many goals that she has already set for herself,” Parisi said.

Nazari’s upcoming MFA thesis project will incorporate a mixture of paintings and large three-dimensional objects, many hanging from the ceiling.

“I am very excited about my thesis show,” Nazari said. “[After graduating] I plan to either have a studio in New York City or attend  long-term international artist residencies in the United States or other countries where I can have my studio space and teach part-time.”