Kamrooz Aram: Privacy, An Exhibition presents a series of new works that use techniques of abstraction and installation to question false oppositions between painting and sculpture, foreground and background, or public and private space. Aram starts his canvases by mapping their structure with a grid. He then develops botanical motifs inspired by decorative arts like carpets, tiles, or ceramics in response to the grid. In one work, actual ceramic vessels are juxtaposed with painting inside a glassed-in shelf as might be found in a museum, thus turning a painting into a sculpture or a display.
Aram’s artworks are placed strategically in the space in combination with a variety of decorative elements—drapery, furniture, and wall painting—to draw attention to the ways in which images and objects are prioritized depending upon their relation to each other. Monochrome fields of paint appear on the walls of the gallery, as well as part of individual works, thus leveling the differences between backdrop and fine art. Similarly, the pattern from a household object shifts scale within a mural-sized oil painting. Such relationships remain in flux within the galleries, where the status of each object is never certain.
Privacy Screen for Public Architecture, 2022, the monumental five-part screen in the West Gallery responds to Nathalia Goncharova’s Spring, 1927/28, a significant painting of similar dimensions in the collection of The Arts Club of Chicago. The functionality of the screen signals Aram’s rumination on notions of privacy and enclosure and how they intersect with modernist, as well as Iranian, domestic architecture. With sculpture, paint, drapery and furniture, the installation entitled Phantom Architect, 2022, fully converts the gallery into an intimate space. Aram’s careful selection and placement of art works and design objects thereby liken the exhibition to the home as a response to the hybrid public/private nature of The Arts Club.