Studies and Sketches for Crystal and Glass Design, and Other Works

Exhibition Dates
Artist / Curator

Farideh Lashai

In her celebrated career spanning five decades, Farideh Lashai was primarily known as a painter and yet she consistently played with varying means of expression without recognizing any frontiers that would confine her to a rigid identity. Lyricism is the prevailing characteristic in her work across mediums, whether it is painting, sculpture, writing, installation or a combination of animation and painting.


Lashai was born in Rasht, Iran, and at eighteen she left for Europe where she studied German studies at Goethe University Frankfurt, and later glass and crystal design at the Academy of Applied Arts, Vienna. In 1966 she went to work at Riedel Studio in Austria. Two years later, she had her first exhibition as a designer alongside Claus Riedel in Milan, while concurrently working as a designer at Rosenthal Studios in Bavaria.


The vases, along with the silkscreen portfolio based on sketches and studies at the heart of this presentation are traces of that period and are foundational to Lashai’s artistic career. In a biographical piece, Negar Azimi describes the lucent quality of the original vases “as a harbinger of later paintings to come, where very often an ethereal, almost translucent presence is juxtaposed to a heavier one.” The same delicate experimentation with material continues in the interplay of the ephemeral, semi-transparent quality of video projection contrasting with the opacity of painting.


Lashai has been widely exhibited internationally, at the Biennale of Sydney, Moscow Biennale, and “The Spark is You” curated by Dr. Ziba Ardalan as a collateral event of the Venice Biennale, to name a few, and numerous museum presentations. Posthumously, her work was subject of two retrospectives Towards the ineffable: Farideh Lashai, curated by Germano Celant and Faryar Javaherian at the TMoCA in 2015, and Farideh Lashai, a major retrospective curated by Hoor Al Qasimi at the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2016. In 2017, a three-museum project, placing the work of Lashai alongside the work of Francisco Goya, was organized between the Museum of Fine Art Ghent (MSK, Ghent), Museo Nacional del Prado and the British Museum. Her works can be found in major private and public collections such as the collections of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA), Centre Georges Pompidou, The British Museum, Sharjah Art Foundation, National Museum of Jordan and National Museum of Fine Arts, La Valetta, amongst others.

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