8. Monir Farmanfarmian

Monir Farmanfarmaian b. 1924, Qazvin, Iran Triangle, Mirror, revers-glass painting, and plaster on wood, 2008 The Alfond Collection of Contemporary Art Gift of Barbara '68 and Theodore '68 Alfond Cornell Fine Arts Museum, Rollins College 2015.1.31


The attention to architectural form, the use of mathematical precision, the reference to culture, and the inclusion of mirrors are all indicative of the work of Iranian-born artist Monir Farmanfarmaian.

The artist came to the United States to study. She pursued her education at Cornell University in upstate New York and settled in New York City. She worked alongside pop artist Andy Warhol as an illustrator at the department store Bonwit Teller's. She return to her home country of Iran with her husband and made work in diverse media including ceramics and paintings. She came back to New York with her husband shortly before the Iranian Revolution and they ended up staying. Much of her early work created in Iran was lost.

The individual cut mirrors in this work create a dizzying sense of reflection and the interlocking geometric forms create an awe-inspiring sense of depth. The artist is inspired by religious shrines and traditions of Islamic art that reinforce geometry and pattern.

The artist was celebrated with her first major retrospective Infinite Possibility: Mirror Works and Drawings in 2014; the exhibition was presented at the Guggenheim in New York in 2015. At 92, Farmanfarmaian is experiencing renewed attention for her art.