upstairs: Maryam Hoseini

Of Strangers and Parrots

November 5 - December 23, 2017

Press Release

Maryam Hoseini

Of Strangers and Parrots

November 5 – December 23, 2017

Opening Reception: Sunday, November 5, 6 – 8pm


Rachel Uffner Gallery is proud to present the first solo exhibition of Iranian-born, New York-based artist, Maryam Hoseini. After receiving concurrent MFA degrees from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bard College in 2016, Hoseini has focused on a body of work that explores the concept of ruins in a politicized social space.


Born in Tehran, I.R.I., Hoseini captures empty historical echoes as bodies walk among the literal and figurative, the visible and invisible ruins of objects and architectures. Reflecting on her experiences of Iran and its homosocial atmosphere, where women may only socialize with their own gender, Hoseini rethinks and restages these scenes in her work, in which only women are depicted. In the context of the censored female figure, Hoseini presents her subjects as nude, cast simultaneously as unrealistically flattened diagrams of the human body, and hyperrealistic disembodied limbs covered in hair.


Hoseini’s small-scale works of ink, acrylic, and pencil on panel extend architecturally into the exhibition space through site-specific wall paintings. These interjections within the gallery’s white cube serve as a way in which the artist rebuilds and elevates these fractured stories, now sturdily supported with weighted columns of opaque color. The wall paintings additionally relate to Hoseini’s maintained interest in the body, functioning almost as flattened, wrapped dresses, covering the body for which the panel is the head, and rendering each work in its entirety abstractly figural.


There is a purposeful, political act behind Hoseini as director of these scenes in which she creates a new, collective social sphere, free with possibilities for both artist and subject. The architectural nature of this series invites viewers to bring their own role onto Hoseini’s stage.


Maryam Hoseini (b. 1988, Tehran, Iran) received dual MFA degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Bard College simultaneously. She has participated in group shows at Roman Susan Gallery (Chicago, IL, MoMA PS1 (Long Island City, NY), Gallery Kayafas (Boston, MA), Gallery Frank Pages (Geneva, Switzerland), The Munich Cultural Center at Pasinger Fabrik (Munich, Germany), and Mottahedan Projects (Dubai, UAE). Hoseini lives and works in Brooklyn.


Molly Zuckerman-Hartung and Maryam Hoseini mentioned in Andrew Russeth's Critic's Diary (December 2017) for ARTnews
September 13, 2018

Maryam Hoseini 'Of Strangers and Parrots' discussed on ArtFCity's Explain Me podcast
January 3, 2018

Maryam Hoseini 'Of Strangers and Parrots' in New York Magazine
December 11, 2017

The article also appears in the December 11th issue of New York Magazine.

Maryam Hoseini 'Of Strangers and Parrots' mentioned in Jerry Saltz's "The 10 Best Art Achievements of 2017"
December 8, 2017

Maryam Hoseini 'Of Strangers and Parrots' is an Artforum Critics' Pick
November 17, 2017

Maryam Hoseini 'Of Strangers and Parrots' is included in Cultured Magazine's "What To See Now: New York November 2017"
November 16, 2017