Tala Madani

Tala Madani

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CalArts Campus


Paul Brach Lecture Series

Tala Madani’s work is characterised by loose expressive brushwork rendered in a bold, distinctive palette. Rich in narrative and heavy in irony Madani’s paintings depict darkly comic mise-en-scénes. Whilst her more abstract large-scale works usually contain a mass, group or collective, Madani’s more descriptive and intimately scaled paintings, and painterly video animations, depict uncomfortable scenes in which bald, middle-aged men engage in absurd scenarios that fuse playfulness with violence and perversity.

Whilst the figures imagined are stereotypical and loaded with associations, the activities in which they are engaged are strange and absurd. Through her distinctive painting technique, Madani imbues recurring symbols and imagery with a complexity that cannot be reduced to any single reading. Products of curiosity, fantasy, and desire, Madani’s paintings provoke a cacophony of interpretation that exceeds mere commentary. As such they exist as ‘vignettes for experimentation,’ as powerful meditations on the tension between the stereotypical and the iconic.

After receiving her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2006, Madani made her solo debut in 2007.

Madani was awarded the Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting (2013), the De Volkskrant Art Award (2012), shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre (2012), the Van den Berch van Heemstede Stichting Fellowship (2008), and the Kees Verwey Fellowship (2007). She was artist in residence at the British School of Rome (2010), and The Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam (2007).

Tala Madani lives and works in Los Angeles.