The Compositions
The Compositions

Various Compositions

Artist: Shirana Shahbazi

Various Compositions

Artist: Shirana Shahbazi

The Compositions

Dating: 2011/2013
Mat./Technique: C-print on aluminium

The Artist

Shirana Shahbazi (Tehran 1974-) is a contemporary Iranian-born photographer known for her large-scale installations. She immigrated to Germany with her family the year she turned eleven. She studied photography in Dortmund initially, before entering the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Zurich. She has lived and worked in the Swiss city ever since. 

Her art quickly came to the fore and began to draw considerable interest on the international scene starting in 2002, with Shahbazi winning several important awards and taking part in a number of shows, notably at the Barbican Centre in London, the Centre d’art contemporain in Geneva and MoMA in New York. The artist’s works have been exhibited at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago. 

During her travels, Shahbazi has done portraits, landscapes and still-lifes, which she works out in highly studied compositions. Sometimes she reuses her images as “matrices” in the design of paintings, posters and rugs, which she has Iranian craftsmen produce. Her work often takes the form of installations in which she mixes large-scale photographic prints with small-format pieces from various series, in both colour and black and white. Like a visual collage, formal and symbolic associations spring from this contrasting juxtaposition. 

The Compositions

How real or abstract is photography? Shirana Shabazi’s work has circled around this theme for over ten years. Her crisp and vibrant photographs are made without any digital tools and feature brightly colored geometric shapes. 

Alternating between abstraction and representation, Shahbazi’s vividly colored pictures are made in the crisp style of commercial studio photography, without the aid of digital tools. To make her abstract compositions, she photographs painted pedestals and other geometric volumes; sometimes she makes multiple images of the same objects, turning the volumes between exposures to create a dynamic interplay between surface and depth and a sumptuous field of geometric color and pattern. Shahbazi arranges her pictures in surprising combinations.

For the Novartis campus in Shanghai Shirana Shabazi put together a group of 12 artworks in different sizes. They are exhibited through all floors of building 5 on the Novartis Shanghai Campus.