Skip to content
Monique van Genderen organized an Artist Talk by Shila Khatami at UC San Diego

Shila Khatami (b. 1976) is a visual artist who studied at the Fine Arts Akademie of Munchen and the Fine Arts Akademie of Dusseldorf, where she graduated in 2004.

Since then the Berlin-based artist has developed a wide-ranging and eclectic arsenal of painterly means, that seeks inspiration not only from classic modernist painters but also in the observation of the design of everyday life and the aesthetics of punk or street graffitis. She is interested in how a geometrical vocabulary of forms is interwoven with society - starting with the Constructivists and their failed utopian aspirations for societal change, then the reappearance of the forms in the industrial design of the 50s and 80s, all the way to their everyday cultural use today. Her focus is on forms that refer to art history and their ambiguous meaning.

Shila Khatami's works are inspired by a modern history of abstract painting, by the observation of the everyday life, streets signs, the punk aesthetic and graffiti. Her privileged support remains the hardboard, one of the most traditional and cheapest materials for construction and isolation that can be found in hardware shops. This chic is motivated by the will of the artist to get rid of the heroic position of the painter and of his mythic attribute: the canvas tightened on stretcher. However, the punched hardboard offers another challenge: the surface is not plain but submitted to the geometrical and chequered organization of the holes. The artist can ignore this matrix as well as respectfully conform to it." Sammy Abraham Gallery, Paris (website)

Khatami's solo exhibitions include Autocenter in Berlin, Samy Abraham in Paris, Susanna Kulli in Zurich, Marietta Clages in Cologne and Treize in Paris. Group exhibitions include "OOooOO - holes, dots, balls" with David Bertocchi at Hopstreet, Brussels; "Punkt - Systeme, Vom Pointilismus zum Pixel" at the Wilhelm Hack Museum, Ludwigshafen; "BYOB" at Palais de Tokyo, Paris; "Dorothea" at Ancient & Modern, London; and "Ambigu" at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, St. Gallen. She just opened a solo museum exhibition at the Kunstverein Dillingen in September 2015 and a first monograph will be published by Distanz in Fall 2015.