"5 Art Books That Will Immediately Upgrade Your Coffee Table," by Ayesha Shaikh, Harper's Bazaar Arabia
Hayv Kahraman: Project Series 52
A visual souvenir that charts the artistic practice of Los Angeles-based Iraqi artist Hayv Kahraman, this book accompanies an eponymous exhibition featuring new works at California’s Pomona College Museum of Art, running from September until December. Featuring artworks and performance texts, it gives a fuller sense of the 37-year-old artist and her life as an Iraqi emigrant as she journeyed through Sweden and the US, sometimes feeling like she’s “flickering in and out of multiple worlds,” as she writes. Her figurative paintings depicting a singular woman with pale skin and black hair, and wall works, are thoughtful meditations on gender identity and being colonised. Her oeuvre ranges from Persian miniatures and Japanese illustrations to Italian Renaissance paintings, with her most recent works incorporating a weaving technique drawn from Iraqi hand-woven fans called mahaffa. It’s fascinating to see such riveting images born of the chaos and sense of displacement that consume Kahraman. Out this September, this book with its propulsive style is a definite page-turner.