Maloney Fine Arts is pleased to present The Sacred Wheel, an exhibition of new ceramic sculpture and works on paper by Los Angeles artist Yassi Mazandi. Taking her cues from the symmetry and repetition of natural forms—petals, crystals, snowflakes, and skeletons—Yassi has created a personal structural vocabulary in clay with infinite compositional variations. These biologically inspired sculptures seem simultaneously ancient and futuristic, mechanical and natural, masculine and feminine—equally referencing sacred geometry, the art of Sri Yantras, crystal formation, bridges and fractal geometry.
Labyrinthine and seemingly engineered, these one-of-a-kind works were initially divined from thrown ceramic vessels, with manual cuts and bends in the pliable material resulting in rhythmic objects that have now evolved from recognizable vessels to monochromatic “foreign” objects displayed on vertical stands, cementing their status as sculpture in a wide variety of materials and scales. Titled Flowers, these elemental shapes and complex patterns are based on mathematical principles but they are not simply systematic as the hand of the artist always intervenes, pulling, carving, finishing and layering. One of the objects in this exhibition introduces a new process and medium—a geopolymer-based stone from the Dolomites, finished by hand—created in collaboration with a fabricator in Italy.
During her art residency at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Yassi took advantage of the opportunity to explore other media – namely, painting, printmaking, and photography—translating three-dimensional scans of her sculptures into two dimensions, which she calls sculptographs. She digitally manipulates aurasmic colors, in hues ranging from electric bright pink to midnight blue, and ultimately prints some on canvas and paper, some of which she works by hand, sanding and painting the surfaces. These shapes take on astronomical dimension in this form, appearing like generative novas or other cosmic events.
Yassi Mazandi was born in Tehran, Iran and lives and works in Los Angeles. She studied advanced photography and art in Oxford, England and sculpture and ceramics at Greenwich House Pottery, New York City. In 2012 she was an artist in residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, Florida. The last solo exhibition of Mazandi’s work in Los Angeles was Architectonic, at JF Chen, in 2008. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is in major private collections here and abroad.
Installation View, 11 Flowers, 2014