Art Projects International

Art in AmericaOctober 2, 2002

Pouran Jinchi


Many of her strokes are derived from Farsi letters and diacritical marks that push away from legibility and direct themselves toward organic abstraction. Formerly, her paintings began with a text, usually a Persian poem; the marks she made reflected both the actual words and thematic interests of the poem she was referring to. More recently, she has minimized literary sources and declared her interest in, of all things, ants. In fact, the title of her exhibition was “Antworks.”

Viewers amused at this change in theme might not recognize in the well-composed canvases a reference to the Farsi word for ants, “moorcheh.” Actually, the graphic design of Jinchi’s canvases recognizes the ants’ capacity for building colonies or walking in waves across the ground. While the general arrangement is purely of her imagining, the ants themselves are painted with a subtle regard for their forms: small eyes, rounded bodies, tapered legs. They are usually tightly massed together into columns that inch their way up or across the canvas. For all the natural history being described here, the ants’ patterns make pleasing visual motifs; Jinchi keeps her training in calligraphy close at hand…

– Jonathan Goodman

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