“Germs on Sheets:” an exhibition of new paintings on linen, mixed media on paper as well as new porcelain “Flower” sculptures by Los Angeles artist Yassi Mazandi. This marks the artist’s second exhibition with the gallery. While Yassi’s inspiration has always principally come from nature, with its often symmetrical and replicating qualities, this exhibition is evidence of her similar fascination with the more organic forms which nature has to offer. The result is a body of work that, while rooted in nature’s order and symmetry, reflects many of the dynamic, vibrant, occasionally unexpected twists and turns that are inherent in biological matter.
The inspiration for this series came from a “hygiene horror stay” at a motel and led to a temporary engrossment, perhaps even obsession, with germs and their biological forms. Applying the principle of “reduce, reuse, recycle,” most of the materials to which she has applied her mixed media techniques and imagery are indeed recycled: vintage French linen bed sheets, vintage French linen pillowcases as well as Italian Army surplus linen “fart-sacks” (a military term for the mattress cover which envelops an army bed). The works on paper, executed with inks, dyes, watercolor and correction fluid, illustrate the artist’s fascination with amoebic structure.
The gallery will also present several signature hand carved porcelain sculptures, which the artist calls “Flowers.” These biologically inspired works seem simultaneously ancient and futuristic, mechanical and natural, masculine and feminine – with references to sacred geometry. Labyrinthine and seemingly engineered, these one-of-a-kind sculptures are created by applying manual cuts and bends to two-sided ceramic sculptures, handmade on a potter’s wheel. The process is entirely subtractive. Nothing is added. While these elemental and complex “Flower” forms are seemingly based on mathematical principles, they are not simply systematic, as the artist’s hand always intervenes, pulling, carving, finishing and layering.
Yassi Mazandi was born in Tehran, Iran, raised in Great Britain 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. Her work has been exhibited internationally and is included in the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and other public and private collections here and abroad.