Circle of Friends

COOPER COLE is pleased to present, Circle of Friends, a solo exhibition of new works by Hangama Amiri. This exhibition mark’s the artists second solo exhibit at the gallery and will run from March 22 – May 11, 2024 in the gallery’s east exhibition space.

Over the past three years, Hangama Amiri’s artistic practice has delved deeply into figuration, employing textile, fabric, photography, and printmaking as mediums of expression. Through these varied forms, she has embarked on a journey of storytelling, weaving narratives that bridge the past memories of Afghanistan with the contemporary experiences of diaspora life.

Central to Amiri’s exploration has been the interplay between personal recollections and the broader currents of cultural and societal shifts. Through capturing moments through photography and the intricate stitching of fabric, she has sought to articulate the complexities of identity and belonging, both within her own journey and that of the wider diaspora.

Crucially, Amiri’s creative journey has been deeply influenced by the supportive network of friends, colleagues, and patrons in both Connecticut and New York. Their presence has not only provided ongoing inspiration but has also served as a reflective mirror, grounding her work in the lived experiences of those around her.

In essence, Amiri’s artistic practice serves as a testament to the power of personal storytelling and the resilience of community bonds. By continually engaging with both her own narratives and those of others, she strives to create art that resonates with authenticity and fosters connection in an ever-evolving world.

Taking inspiration from figurative painters such as Johannes Vermeer, John Singer Sargent, and Kerry James Marshall, Amiri examines their distinct authorship and studio practices. Each artist not only grappled with issues of class, race, culture, and politics in their representations but also consistently challenged historical norms regarding visibility and representation within the realm of painting. Their contributions extend beyond mere depiction, delving into the critique of who holds the right to be seen and represented, and who is granted space within the annals of painting history. Through their art, they engage in a continuous dialogue, pushing boundaries and reshaping perceptions of identity, visibility, and representation across different epochs and cultures.

The textiles and drawings in the exhibit portray portraits of Hangama Amiri’s friends, colleagues, and professors within the New Haven and New York communities. Adopting this deeply personal approach, she found fascination in her sitters reclaiming their own mise en scène. Throughout the series, she sought to explore how each sitter wished to be perceived within the comfort of their homes, studios, workplaces, or public spaces. Amiri’s role as the artist was heavily influenced by the desires of her sitters, fostering an equal dynamic where their authority and power held precedence over hers. It was inspiring for her to witness the unique ways in which each sitter wished to be immortalized within her oeuvre. This exhibition resonates with authenticity, expanding on Amiri’s conceptual storytelling while fostering connections in an ever-evolving world where personal narratives intertwine with broader societal currents.

Hangama Amiri (b. 1989, Peshawar, Afghanistan) works predominantly in textile to create images that reflect on ideas of home. Using a painterly approach to colour and materials, Amiri reflects on how everyday objects are imbued with cultural memory. Amiri holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She was a Canadian Fulbright and Post- Graduate Fellow at Yale University School of Art and Sciences, and has completed residencies at the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Joya AiR Residency Program in Almería, Spain, World of CO Residency program in Sofia, Bulgaria, and at Long Road Projects in Jacksonville, Florida. Amiri won the 2011 Lieutenant Governor’s Community Volunteerism Award and the 2013 Portia White Protege Award.

She has exhibited internationally at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, Ridgefield; Hayy Jameel, Jeddah; Aga Khan Museum, Cooper Cole, Toronto; Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; The Moody Centre for the Arts, Houston; Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa; Carl Kostyál, Hospitalet, Stockholm; Mönchehaus Museum; Goslar; Sharjah Biennial 15, Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah; Sevil Dolmaci Gallery, Istanbul; Kunstraum Potsdam, Potsdam; Fondazione Imago Mundi, Treviso; Villa Panza, Varese; T293 Gallery, Rome; New Museum, Albertz Benda, Charles Moffett Gallery, New York; Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, Banff; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; and Paramo Gallery, Guadalajara; among others. Amiri lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut, USA.

Artworks

Hangama Amiri

Muheb Esmat

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Hangama Amiri – Muheb Esmat, 2024

Muslin, cotton, linen, chiffon, denim, silk, velvet, leather, suede, and ikat-print on chiffon

73.5" X 44.5"
186.69cm X 113.03cm

H.A0070

Hangama Amiri

Portrait of Anoka Faruqee at Her Studio

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Hangama Amiri – Portrait of Anoka Faruqee at Her Studio, 2024

Muslin, cotton, linen, chiffon, silk, suede, denim, tape, and pencil-on fabric

45" X 58"
114.3cm X 147.32cm

H.A0069

Hangama Amiri

Sara Tayeb-Khalifa at Her Apartment in Manhattan

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Hangama Amiri – Sara Tayeb-Khalifa at Her Apartment in Manhattan, 2024

Muslin, cotton, chiffon, silk, polyester, velvet, denim, suede, color pencil on fabric, and hand-embroidery and found fabric

44.5" X 56"
113.03cm X 142.24cm

H.A0068

Hangama Amiri

Renata Nagy with Her Dog, Izumi

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Hangama Amiri – Renata Nagy with Her Dog, Izumi, 2024

Muslin, cotton, chiffon, linen, ikat-print on chiffon, silk, leather, suede, and velvet

56" X 42"
142.24cm X 106.68cm

H.A0072

Hangama Amiri

Dominic Chambers with His Portrait Painting of Trevon Latin

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Hangama Amiri – Dominic Chambers with His Portrait Painting of Trevon Latin, 2024

Muslin, cotton, chiffon, linen, velvet, denim, and silk

52" X 42"
132.08cm X 106.68cm

H.A0071

Hangama Amiri

Portrait of Kern Samuel at Yale Art Gallery

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Hangama Amiri – Portrait of Kern Samuel at Yale Art Gallery, 2024

Muslin, cotton, chiffon, silk, linen, and velvet

52" X 34.5"
132.08cm X 87.63cm

H.A0073

Hangama Amiri

Bhasha Chakrabarti at Her Studio Space in New Haven, CT

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Hangama Amiri – Bhasha Chakrabarti at Her Studio Space in New Haven, CT, 2023

Pencil on paper

15" X 12"
38.1cm X 30.48cm

H.A0058

Hangama Amiri

Fatima Naqvi at Her Office

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Hangama Amiri – Fatima Naqvi at Her Office, 2023

Pencil on paper

15" X 10.7"
38.1cm X 27.18cm

H.A0060

Hangama Amiri

Fatima Naqvi’s Office at Yale University

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Hangama Amiri – Fatima Naqvi’s Office at Yale University, 2023

Pencil on paper

15" X 10.7"
38.1cm X 27.18cm

H.A0061

Hangama Amiri

Monique Pedroza at Their Lab, Yale Science

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Hangama Amiri – Monique Pedroza at Their Lab, Yale Science, 2023

Pencil on paper

15" X 10.7"
38.1cm X 27.18cm

H.A0055

Hangama Amiri

Portrait of Sadaf Padder at Her Apartment in Brooklyn, NY

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Hangama Amiri – Portrait of Sadaf Padder at Her Apartment in Brooklyn, NY, 2023

Pencil on paper

15" X 10.7"
38.1cm X 27.18cm

H.A0056

Hangama Amiri

Sara Tayeb-Khalifa at Her Apartment in Manhattan

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Hangama Amiri – Sara Tayeb-Khalifa at Her Apartment in Manhattan, 2023

Pencil on paper

10.7" X 15"
27.18cm X 38.1cm

H.A0062