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Yari Ostovany was born in Iran in 1962 and moved to the United States at the age of 16. He studied at the University of Nevada, Reno, before completing his MFA at San Francisco Art institute in 1995 and currently lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area.
More concerned with interiority than with exterior reality, Ostovany’s work is personal and deeply inward looking. Informed by Abstract Expressionism as well as Persian, Taoist and Zen sensibilities, Ostovany is interested in the intersection of the collective with the personal and the unconscious, and how painting (the alchemy of pigment, light and texture) can assist with this inward looking. In this respect, light in Ostovany’s work is self-generating rather than external, a spiritual energy which is translated in his work as visual evidence of an experience (not a representation of it, but a painterly translation). Unconcerned with mimetic representation (he sees abstraction as representational only insofar as it is a representation of a psychic state) the surface of the canvas is given particular importance.
Constructed intuitively over time from multiple layers of washes and glazes of varying thicknesses, a work will often begin as a response to the experience of a particular gesture, fragment or form which then dissolves into atmospheric passages as the painting evolves and layers are applied, scraped back and reapplied. Like a kind of archiving process this circular rhythm of push and pull, addition and absorption, continues until the work reaches its conclusion. Erasing spatial distinctions Ostovany’s exploration of the poetics of space achieves a sort of liminal state where energies within and without come to rest on the surface of the painting in what Ostovany calls “a sense of resonance.”
Yari Ostovany has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally and has been the recipient of numerous grants, including the Sierra Arts Endowment Grant, Craig Sheppard Memorial Grant and the Sierra Nevada Arts Foundation Grant. Recent solo exhibitions include The Yard: Columbus Circle, New York; Stanford Art Spaces, Stanford University, Joyce Gordon Gallery, Oakland; Rebecca Molayem Gallery, Los Angeles; and Aria Gallery, Tehran. Yari Ostovany’s work is included in in the permanent collections of numerous international institutions, including, New Britain Museum of American Art, Connecticut; Pasargad Bank Museum, Tehran; Chateau d’Orquevaux, Champagne-Ardenne, France; and the University of Nevada.