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Thierry Feuz: Everglades
Jung-Yeon Min: Passages
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Woman: Self-Portrait
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Brand New Works
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Helle Jetzig: Realities
Thierry Feuz: Gulfstream
Spectrum: Summer 2005
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Andrei Molodkin
Tianbing Li
Thierry Feuz
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Tianbing Li


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Gallery Hopper
Interior Design Magazine


Published: April 8, 2005

'Welcome' Kashya Hildebrand Gallery 531 West 25th Street, Chelsea Through April 16 Organized by the Tehran-based artist Farhad Moshiri, this vivacious group show demonstrates, among other things, the proposition that fine art, traditional craft and pop culture have long since infiltrated one another's borders in contemporary Iran just as surely as they have everywhere else in the world. Cut-and-paste is a prevailing aesthetic here. Through photomontage and other techniques, the studio portraitist Bahram Afandizadeh and the street photographer Medhdi Hosseinzadeh transport their subjects to fanciful settings. Ebraheem Zinali Khamne creates international-style interiors by joining clips of Western furniture and Persian carpets. The artist Fereydoun Ave collages images of fruit, flowers and champion wrestlers in tableaus that refer to the heroic epics of ancient Persia. Collaboration is standard practice. The couturier team of Michael Sears and Hushi Mortezaie offer madly detailed hybrids of Western and Middle Eastern apparel. Shirin Aliabadi and Mr. Moshiri print photographs of film stars, athletes and weddings on porcelain dinner plates that are laid out as if for a feast. And a sense of cultural inquiry floats, lightly, over all. Both Mr. Moshiri's photographs of new buildings in Tehran and Peyman Hooshmandzadeh's close-ups of mustaches and belt buckles have the look of ethnographic field studies.

What's notable is that these studies aren't done by outside visitors. They are self-studies, and they turn the show itself into a kind of cultural self-portrait. The portrait is shaped by the varied forms of modernity it encompasses, and by what it resists, namely a particular kind of self-exoticizing that the international art market tends to reward. It is also shaped by a force it can't resist but can use to its own ends: the pervasive effects of Western global capitalism, which simultaneously promote ethnic marketing and eats away at Otherness. Keeping a critical grip on all of this is a delicate matter. Someone is always getting the picture wrong by someone else's lights. And it is possible to have problems with including commercial street photography in an exhibition that plays with the idea of kitsch. Under the circumstances, Mr. Moshiri is wise to keep as many ideas in the air as possible, as he does here, and to keep those ideas flexible, ambiguous and welcoming. The show has a small catalog with texts by Negar Azimi, Lisa Farjam, Tirdad  Zolghadr and by the curator. It's good looking, a good read, and nicely rounds  out an unusually informative project. HOLLAND COTTER

ANDREI MOLODKIN, Kashya Hildebrand, 531-539 West 25th Street, (212) 366-5757 (through July 31). This skillful Russian draftsman has a heavy-handed way with popular and political symbols. He draws giant parodies of "I Love NY" or "I Love Sex" bumper stickers, replacing the valentine heart with anatomically accurate skulls. Also on view is a double portrait of Lenin and Stalin. What's most interesting is not the imagery but how these enormous drawings are made: entirely with blue ballpoint pen (Johnson).

In Chelsea brother and sister Daneyal Mahmood and Kashya Hildebrand have opened an impressive new space on 25th Street. Brother Daneyal is running the New York location, Sister Kashya is minding another gallery across the pond in Geneva (Switzerland). They seem to go for an accomplished, slick aesthetic – September opens with a display of large format color photographs of urban window reflections by Time magazine photographer Jeffrey Aaronson. It’s not a new idea, but he does it well, and at least he doesn’t copy them in paint on canvas. Next month they’ll show solid chunks of color by Kate Dineen. It’s not a new idea, but she does it well, and at least she allows the pigment to stand for itself, and not a simulacrum on canvas.