Born in Tehran in 1981, Tala Madani is one of the most engaging painters of her generation. Madani’s work is characterised by loose expressive brushwork rendered in a bold, distinctive palette. Rich in narrative and heavy in irony Madani’s paintings depict darkly comic mise-en-scénes. Whilst her more abstract large-scale works usually contain a mass, group or collective, Madani’s more descriptive and intimately scaled paintings, and painterly video animations, depict uncomfortable scenes in which bald, middle-aged men engage in absurd scenarios that fuse playfulness with violence and perversity.
Whilst the figures imagined are stereotypical and loaded with associations, the activities in which they are engaged are strange and absurd. Through her distinctive painting technique, Madani imbues recurring symbols and imagery with a complexity that cannot be reduced to any single reading. Products of curiosity, fantasy, and desire, Madani’s paintings provoke a cacophony of interpretation that exceeds mere commentary. As such they exist as ‘vignettes for experimentation,’ as powerful meditations on the tension between the stereotypical and the iconic.
After receiving her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2006, Madani made her solo debut in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2011); Manual Man, Pilar Corrias, London (2011). Recent group exhibitions include He disappeared into complete silence; rereading a single artwork by Louise Bourgeois, Museum De Hallen, Amsterdam (2011); Speech Matters, Danish Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venice (2011); The Great New York, P.S. 1 MoMA, New York (2010); 4th Tirana International Contempoary Art Biennial, Tirana (2009); Greater New Younger than Jesus, New Museum, New York (2009). Madani was awarded the Kees Verwey Fellowship and was artist in residence at The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam in 2007.