Amir H. Fallah: The Facade Project
October 19, 2020
Appropriating images from across history, geographical regions, popular and art historical sources, and personal and universal references, Amir H. Fallah deftly creates new meanings through a fully original language of vibrant color. Fallah presents text and images from children’s books interspersed with visual quotations from Persian miniatures, illuminated manuscripts, American propaganda imagery (primarily around wars in South and Southeast Asia), and widely dispersed paraphernalia.
With this web of sources, Fallah points to his own navigation of Iranian and American identity, reminding us that being American today often means one does not identify solely with any single nationality or heritage. It is his insistence on the complexity of identity, parsed through the language of painterly delight, that makes Fallah such a powerful inaugural artist for The ICA San José Facade Project. Amir H. Fallah: The Facade Project includes a fifty-foot mural and two six-foot circular paintings that offers an entirely new conception of the relationship between the street and the building’s architecture at a time when the galleries within the building must remain closed.
Amir H. Fallah (b. 1979, Tehran) received a BFA in fine art and painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, and an MFA in painting at the University of California, Los Angeles. He has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions across the United States and abroad. In 2015 Fallah had a solo exhibition at the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Overland Park, Kansas, and received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant. In 2009 the artist was chosen to participate in the 9th Sharjah Biennial and received the 2018 Northern Trust Purchase Prize at EXPO Chicago. In 2019 Fallah was awarded a permanent public art commission by the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and won the COLA Artist Fellowship. Fallah is also the recipient of the 2020 Artadia Award for Los Angeles. His work is in the permanent collections of museums across he United States and in the UAE.
Amir H. Fallah: The Facade Project is generously supported by Inaugural Funders of The ICA San José Facade Project Pamela and David Hornik.
Additional support is provided by Inaugural Partners of The ICA San José Facade Project Cheryl and Bruce Kiddoo, Brook Hartzell and Tad Freese, Green Family Art Foundation, and Applied Materials.
The ICA San José Facade Project:
The Institute of Contemporary Art San José is excited to announce The Facade Project—a public art program dedicated to exploring the most critical social and political issues facing our time. This initiative will feature artists whose identities and work represent areas of our global community that historically have been largely overlooked by American arts institutions, offering a course correction to past patterns of inequity within the museum system. In this way, we hope to both engage new communities and contribute to the writing of a more inclusive art history.
Making art accessible is a core part of our mission, and this has never been more vital than during the era of COVID-19. This ongoing project will offer safe, socially distanced experiences for our audiences and allow artists the opportunity to push and reinvent the limits of their practices in terms of scale, medium, concept, and the work’s relationship to architecture and urban space.