Siah Armajani

Siah Armajani
Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates (2017)
Siah Armajani
Installation view, Alexander Gray Associates (2017)
Tomb for Frank O'Hara (2014)
Painted wood
53.5h x 67w x 102.75d in (135.9h x 170.2w x 261d cm)
Tomb for Frank O'Hara (2014)
Painted wood
53.5h x 67w x 102.75d in (135.9h x 170.2w x 261d cm)
Written Iran (2015–16)
Ink on mylar
40h x 223w in (101.6h x 566.4w cm)
Written Iran (2015–16)
Ink on mylar
40h x 223w in (101.6h x 566.4w cm)
Shirt (1959)
Cloth, pencil and ink on cloth
31.8h x 29.9w in (80.8h x 75.9w cm)
Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Shirt (1959)
Cloth, pencil and ink on cloth
31.8h x 29.9w in (80.8h x 75.9w cm)
Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Tomb for Heidegger (2012)
Felt pen on graph paper
24h x 36w in (61h x 91.4w cm)
Tomb for Heidegger (2012)
Felt pen on graph paper
24h x 36w in (61h x 91.4w cm)
Tomb for Richard Rorty (2016)
Painted wood and ink
77h x 84w x 38d in (195.6h x 213.4w x 96.5d cm)
Tomb for Richard Rorty (2016)
Painted wood and ink
77h x 84w x 38d in (195.6h x 213.4w x 96.5d cm)
Calligraphy (1964)
Ink on canvas
60h x 41.5w in (152.4h x 105.4w cm)
Collection of the Grey Art Gallery, New York University
Calligraphy (1964)
Ink on canvas
60h x 41.5w in (152.4h x 105.4w cm)
Collection of the Grey Art Gallery, New York University
Bridge over a Tree (1970)
Wood, spruce tree
 132h x 1020w x 48d in (335.28h x 2590.8w x 121.92d cm)
Bridge over a Tree (1970)
Wood, spruce tree
132h x 1020w x 48d in (335.28h x 2590.8w x 121.92d cm)
A Number Between Zero and One (1970)
Steel, paper
104h x 15w x 11d in (264.2h x 38.1w x 27.9d cm)
A Number Between Zero and One (1970)
Steel, paper
104h x 15w x 11d in (264.2h x 38.1w x 27.9d cm)
Dictionary for Building Stairs No. 5 (1976)
Cardboard and balsa wood
6.75h x 6w x 6d in (17.1h x 15.2w x 15.2d cm)
Dictionary for Building Stairs No. 5 (1976)
Cardboard and balsa wood
6.75h x 6w x 6d in (17.1h x 15.2w x 15.2d cm)
Tomb for Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2016)
Ink on mylar
36h x 60w in (91.4h x 152.4w cm)
Tomb for Dietrich Bonhoeffer (2016)
Ink on mylar
36h x 60w in (91.4h x 152.4w cm)
Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room No. 1 (1987-94)
Painted wood
Dimensions variable
Sacco and Vanzetti Reading Room No. 1 (1987-94)
Painted wood
Dimensions variable
The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge (1988)
Minneapolis, MN
The Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge (1988)
Minneapolis, MN
Garden, Villa Arson Museum (1994)
Nice, France
Garden, Villa Arson Museum (1994)
Nice, France
Fallujah (2004-05)
Laminated wood, paint, steel, glass, cloth, copper wire, Persian rug, and light bulb
198h x 120w x 141d in (502.9h x 304.8w x 358.1d cm)
Collection of the Walker Art Center, MN
Fallujah (2004-05)
Laminated wood, paint, steel, glass, cloth, copper wire, Persian rug, and light bulb
198h x 120w x 141d in (502.9h x 304.8w x 358.1d cm)
Collection of the Walker Art Center, MN
Tomb for Neema (2012)
Concrete, wood, shingles, paint
55h x 168w x 60d in (139.7h x 426.7w x 152.4d cm)
Tomb for Neema (2012)
Concrete, wood, shingles, paint
55h x 168w x 60d in (139.7h x 426.7w x 152.4d cm)
Written Minneapolis (The Last Tomb) (2014)
Felt pen on mylar
36h x 222w in (91.4h x 563.9w cm)
Written Minneapolis (The Last Tomb) (2014)
Felt pen on mylar
36h x 222w in (91.4h x 563.9w cm)

Biography

 view entire CV PDF 161 K

Siah Armajani (b.1939) was born in Iran and moved to the United States in 1960 to attend Macalester College in Minnesota, where he continues to live and work. His sculptures and public works, informed by his democratic and populist ideals, exist between the boundaries of art and architecture. With nearly one hundred projects realized internationally since the 1960s, Armajani is recognized as a leading figure in conceptualizing the role and function of public art.

As a student in Tehran, Armajani was drawn to American philosophers and writers, and later studied American populist thought as a philosophy major in the U.S. These early theoretical interests continue to catalyze his work, taking form in objects and architectural spaces designed in homage to literary, philosophical, and political figures including John Dewey, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodor Adorno, Ahmad Shamlou, and Luigi Galleani, among others. Curator Murtaza Vali describes Armajani’s sculptures as, “thoughtful modulations of space and things, emblematic of [Armajani’s] distinctive and extensive oeuvre that has primarily engaged with politics and philosophy at a formal level.”

American vernacular architecture has been a consistent visual motif in Armajani’s practice, and is embodied in his public works, including bridges, gardens, and outdoor structures. In Armajani’s words: “I am interested in the nobility of usefulness. My intention is to build open, available, useful, common, public gathering places—gathering places that are neighborly.” These concerns take form in his ongoing series of Reading Rooms and Reading Gardens, public spaces, pavilions, and shelters for social exchanges or solitary meditation. Armajani’s Tombs, his most recent sculptures series, are uninhabitable glass and wood structures that reference both American modernist and vernacular architecture, playing tribute to figures including Walt Whitman, John Berryman, Nicola Sacco, and Bartolomeo Vanzetti, among others.

Armajani’s most celebrated public art works are bridges, walkways, and gardens, including the Irene Hixon Whitney Bridge, Minneapolis, MN; the World Financial Center’s promenade (in collaboration with Scott Burton and Cesar Pelli), Battery Park City, New York; Gazebo for Two Anarchists at Storm King Art Center, Mountainville, NY; Floating Poetry Room, Ijborg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Bridge for Iowa City, University of Iowa; and numerous gardens at Villa Arson Museum, Nice, France. Armajani was commissioned to design the Cauldron for the 1996 Centennial Olympic Celebration in Atlanta, GA.

Siah Armajani has been the subject of over fifty solo exhibitions since 1978; including surveys and retrospectives at Parasol unit, London (2013); Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO (2008); Musee d’art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva, Switzerland (2007, tour); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (1999, tour); Vila Arson, Nice, France (1994); Lannan Foundation, Los Angeles, CA (1992); Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (1987); Westfalischs Landesmuseum, Munster, Germany (1987, tour); and ICA Philadelphia, PA (1985). The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN, is planning a large-scale retrospective of the artist scheduled to open in 2018.

The artist’s work has been included in extensive group exhibitions, including Passages in Modern Art: 1954 – 1966, Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, TX (2016); Cycle Des Histoires Sans Fin, Séquence Automne-Hiver 2015-2016, Musée d’art Moderne et Contemporain (MAMCO), Geneva (2015); Art Expanded, 1958-1978 and Art at the Center: 75 Years of Walker Collections, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2014); Iran Modern, Asia Society, New York (2013); Spectacular of the Vernacular, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, MN (2011); Word Into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle Ea

Articles / Reviews

  • Armajani Art Asia Pacific  May/June 2015  PDF 339 K
  • Armajani Inventario  May 2015  PDF 3.3 MB
  • Armajani ArtNews  December 2014  PDF 0.9 MB
  • Armajani New York Times  September 25, 2014  PDF 210 K
  • Armajani Modern Painters  September 2014  PDF 291 K
  • Armajani Art Asia Pacific  March 2014  PDF 187 K
  • Armajani Canvas Magazine  November 2013  PDF 10.1 MB
  • Armajani New York Times  September 5, 2013  PDF 604 K
  • Armajani Wall Street Journal  September 3, 2013  PDF 386 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  July 19, 2013  PDF 63 K
  • Armajani New York Times  September 30, 2011  PDF 94 K
  • Armajani New York Times  September 9, 2011  PDF 94 K
  • Armajani Art Asia Pacific  July 2010  PDF 3.1 MB
  • Armajani McClatchy-Tribune Business News  July 4, 2010  PDF 78 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  June 28, 2010  PDF 56 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  November 6, 2009  PDF 83 K
  • Armajani Art in America  October 2009  PDF 0.9 MB
  • Armajani Grey Art Gallery  December 2008  PDF 300 K
  • Armajani Pitch Weekly  September 11, 2008  PDF 616 K
  • Armajani Pitch Weekly  August 14, 2008  PDF 0.8 MB
  • Armajani Art in America  June 3, 2008  PDF 1.8 MB
  • Armajani Sante Fe New Mexican  September 21, 2007  PDF 69 K
  • Armajani Art in America  June 2006  PDF 790 K
  • Armajani Des Moines Business Record  May 8, 2006  PDF 100 K
  • Armajani Oxford Art Journal  March 2006  PDF 173 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  December 9, 2005  PDF 81 K
  • Armajani Minnesota Monthly  April 2004  PDF 756 K
  • Armajani Art in America  February, 2003  PDF 788 K
  • Armajani New York Times  December 6, 2002  PDF 55 K
  • Armajani New York Times  November 17, 2002  PDF 0.9 MB
  • Armajani New York Times  September 27, 2002  PDF 97 K
  • Armajani New York Times  May 5, 2002  PDF 100 K
  • Armajani Critical Inquiry  Winter 2002  PDF 372 K
  • Armajani New York Times  December 15, 2000  PDF 78 K
  • Armajani New York Times  July 25, 1999  PDF 214 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  November 2, 1998  PDF 85 K
  • Armajani Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  September 13, 1997  PDF 330 K
  • Armajani Milwaukee Journal Sentinel  April 6, 1997  PDF 188 K
  • Armajani Wisconsin State Journal  April 6, 1997  PDF 131 K
  • Armajani New York Times  August 9, 1996  PDF 1.7 MB
  • Armajani Star Tribune  July 31, 1996  PDF 55 K
  • Armajani New York Times  July 28, 1996  PDF 1.1 MB
  • Armajani Toronto Star  July 27, 1996  PDF 97 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  July 19, 1996  PDF 74 K
  • Armajani Los Angeles Times  July 18, 1996  PDF 97 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  July 13, 1996  PDF 596 K
  • Armajani Philadelphia Inquirer  March 15, 1996  PDF 87 K
  • Armajani Atlanta Journal Constitution  July 23, 1995  PDF 109 K
  • Armajani Guardian  November 29, 1994  PDF 393 K
  • Armajani Atlanta Journal Constitution  March 25, 1994  PDF 113 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  February 17, 1994  PDF 199 K
  • Armajani Design Quarterly  1994  PDF 3.1 MB
  • Armajani New York Tribute  November 21, 1993  PDF 96 K
  • Armajani New York Times  July 23, 1993  PDF 207 K
  • Armajani Chicago Tribune  September 25, 1992  PDF 131 K
  • Armajani Los Angeles Times  April 2, 1992  PDF 97 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  January 12, 1992  PDF 90 K
  • Armajani New York Times  August 9, 1991  PDF 269 K
  • Armajani New York Times  June 21, 1991  PDF 119 K
  • Armajani Boston Globe  December 3, 1990  PDF 96 K
  • Armajani New York Times  March 19, 1990  PDF 4.6 MB
  • Armajani Washington Post  February 9, 1990  PDF 321 K
  • Armajani New York Times  July 21, 1989  PDF 1.7 MB
  • Armajani New York Times  January 29, 1989  PDF 476 K
  • Armajani New York Times  September 4, 1988  PDF 138 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  August 2, 1988  PDF 71 K
  • Armajani New York Times  June 19, 1988  PDF 692 K
  • Armajani New York Times  May 22, 1988  PDF 426 K
  • Armajani Boston Globe  April 12, 1988  PDF 91 K
  • Armajani New York Times  November 27, 1987  PDF 268 K
  • Armajani Star Tribune  September 9, 1987  PDF 81 K
  • Armajani New York Times  September 4, 1987  PDF 377 K
  • Armajani New York Times  August 7, 1987  PDF 191 K
  • Armajani New York Times  March 20, 1987  PDF 231 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  November 18, 1986  PDF 175 K
  • Armajani New York Times  November 9, 1986  PDF 349 K
  • Armajani Vogue  November 1986  PDF 792 K
  • Armajani New York Times  April 27, 1986  PDF 194 K
  • Armajani New York Times  February 6, 1986  PDF 1.1 MB
  • Armajani New York Times  November 22, 1985  PDF 250 K
  • Armajani New York Times  November 15, 1985  PDF 216 K
  • Armajani Philadelphia Inquirer  November 3, 1985  PDF 193 K
  • Armajani New York Times  January 31, 1985  PDF 175 K
  • Armajani New York Times  April 21, 1984  PDF 343 K
  • Armajani New York Times  December 11, 1983  PDF 480 K
  • Armajani New York Times  December 1, 1983  PDF 136 K
  • Armajani New York Times  March 27, 1983  PDF 103 K
  • Armajani New York Times  March 25, 1983  PDF 302 K
  • Armajani New York Times  March 18, 1983  PDF 271 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  March 11, 1983  PDF 481 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  March 10, 1983  PDF 813 K
  • Armajani Design Quarterly  1983  PDF 364 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  October 16, 1982  PDF 260 K
  • Armajani New York Amsterdam News  July 10, 1982  PDF 86 K
  • Armajani Chicago Tribune  June 13, 1982  PDF 238 K
  • Armajani Los Angeles Times  March 21, 1982  PDF 66 K
  • Armajani Perspecta  1982  PDF 3.6 MB
  • Armajani Christian Science Moniter  August 4, 1981  PDF 173 K
  • Armajani Washington Post  February 2, 1979  PDF 0.9 MB
  • Armajani Vogue  August 1971  PDF 662 K