Shirin Neshat (Iranian, B. 1957)
From time to time, Christie's may offer a lot whic… Read more
Shirin Neshat (Iranian, B. 1957)

Unveiling (from the Women of Allah series)

Shirin Neshat (Iranian, B. 1957)
Unveiling (from the Women of Allah series)
signed, titled, dated and numbered 'Shirin Neshat "Unveiling" 1993 AP' (on the reverse)
ink on gelatin silver print
59 7/8 x 39¼in. (152 x 101cm.)
Executed in 1993, this work is an artist's proof from an edition of three plus two artist's proofs
Anon. sale, Christie's Dubai, 31 October 2007, lot 155.
Shirin Neshat: Women of Allah, exh. cat., Vancouver, Artspeak Gallery 1997 (another from the edition illustrated, unpaged).
Shirin Neshat, exh. cat., Oslo, Tromso kunstforening 1999-2000 (another from the edition illustrated, pp. 36-37).
Shirin Neshat, exh. cat., Turin, Castello di Rivoli Museo d'Arte Contemporanea 2002 (another from the edition illustrated, p. 14).
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Lot Essay

In Unveiled, Shirin Neshat takes centre stage in a black and white self-portrait as a veiled woman, whose face and body are covered with calligraphy. As part of her larger well-known Women of Allah series (1993-1997), the present work is a delicate and melancholic rendition of the Woman. When in 1990 the artist returns to her native country after years of absence, she finds the society drastically transformed by the Islamic Revolution and upon her return, she subtly addresses the role of women in Iran through photography.
In the present work, the woman stands still, appears silent yet confident and her gaze captivates the viewer. The Farsi words, amalgams of poems and prose by the Iranian writers Forough Farokhzad and Tahereh Saffarzadeh, ornament the woman's body, but they are not only decorative as they define the woman's quest for self-expression and reveal the symbolic voice of the silent figure. The womans skin becomes the canvas on which Shirin Neshat expresses her feelings towards feminism and questions the intricate identity of women in today's society.
Despite Shirin Neshat's means to resolve her personal dilemmas through photography, Unveiled is an enigmatic and poetic portrait of the Woman and an outstanding example from her iconic Women of Allah series.

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