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. Recent solo exhibitions include: Tala Madani, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville (2014); Tala Madani: Abstract Pussy, Pilar Corrias, London (2014); Tala Madani, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham (2014); Rip Image, Moderna Museet Malmö & Stockholm (2013); The Jinn, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam (2011); Manual Man, Pilar Corrias, London (2011). Recent group exhibitions include: The Great Acceleration: Art in the Anthropocene, Taipei Biennial (curated by Nicholas Bourriaud), Taipei (2014); Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2014); Where are we Now?, 5th Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech (2014); PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imaginiation, Göteborg Biennial, Göteborg (2013); The Future Generation Art Prize@Venice 2013, Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Venice (2013); New works 13.1, Artpace, San Antonio (2013); No Borders, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol (2013); He disappeared into complete silence; rereading a single artwork by Louise Bourgeois, Museum De Hallen, Amsterdam (2011); Speech Matters, Danish Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venice (2011); The Great New York, P.S. 1 MoMA, New York (2010); 4th Tirana International Contempoary Art Biennial, Tirana (2009); Greater New Younger than Jesus, New Museum, New York (2009).
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
Born 1981 in Tehran, Iran
Lives and works in Los Angeles
First Light, organised in collaboration with the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (curated by Henriette Huldisch, Curator, MIT List Visual Arts Center, and Kelly Shindler, Associate Curator, CAM St. Louis), MIT Visual Arts Center, Cambridge – US First Light, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis – US
Smiley has no nose, David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles – US
Tala Madani, Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Seville – ES
Abstract Pussy, Pilar Corrias, London – UK
Tala Madani, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham – UK
Rip Image, Moderna Museet, Malmö; Moderna Museet, Stockholm – SE
Tala Madani: Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting, Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Salt Lake City – US
The Jinn, Stedelijk Museum Bureau, Amsterdam – NL
Manual Man, Pilar Corrias, London – UK
Pictograms, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York – US
Dazzle Men, Pilar Corrias, London – UK
ASS•AS•SIN: hashish anyone?, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York – US
Smoke and Mirrors, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York – US
Cake Men, Oregon State University, Corvallis – US
Invisible Adversaries, The Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson – US
The Great Acceleration: Art in the Anthropocene, Taipei Biennial (curated by Nicholas Bourriaud), Taipei – TW
Made in L.A. 2014, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles – US
Everything falls faster than an anvil, Pace, London – UK
Dramedy, Forth Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth – US
Where are we Now?, 5th Marrakech Biennale, Marrakech – MA
In the Near Future, The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw – PL
Made in Space, Gavin Brown Enterprise, New York – NY
PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imaginiation, Göteborg Biennial, Göteborg – SE
Future Generation Prize, Pinchuck Art Prize, Venice – IT
New works 13.1: Tala Madani, Adam Putnam, and J. Parker Valentine, curated by Suzanne Cotter, Artpace, San Antonio – US
NO BORDERS: Contemporary art in a globalised world, curated by Jeremy Lewison, Bristol Museum and Art Gallery, Bristol – UK
21 Artists Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize 2012, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev – UA
UNREST: Revolt against Reason, curated by Natalie Musteata, apexart, New York – US
De Volkskrant Prijs (De Volkskrant Art Award), Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Amsterdam –NL
He disappeared into complete silence, Museum De Hallen, Haarlem – NL
Speech Matters, Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, Venice – IT
Open House, Singapore Biennale, Singapore – SG
Between my Head and my Hand, There is Always the Face of Death, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, Portland – US
Framed, Drawings in Motion, The Drawing Center, Smartspaces, New York – US
Greater New York, curated by Klaus Biesenbach, Neville Wakefield, and Connie Butler, MoMA P.S. 1, New York – US
The Future of Tradition, The Tradition of Future, Haus der Kunst, Munich – DE
Touched, The 6th Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool – UK
The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, 4th Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennial, Tirana – AL
The Generational: Younger Than Jesus, The New Museum, New York – US
Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East, Saatchi Gallery, London – UK
Out-of-Line, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York – US
The Girl Effect, Lombard-Freid Projects, New York, NY- US
Works on Paper, La Maison Jaune, Patricia Low Contemporary, Gstaad – CH
Size Matters: XXL-Recent Large-Scale Paintings, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill – US
Open Ateliers, Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam – NL
Size Matters: XS-Recent Small Scale Paintings, Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, Peekskill – US
Graduate Show, Green Gallery, Yale University – US
Senior Exhibition, Fairbanks Gallery, Oregon State University, Oregon – US
Studio 580, Bend – US
MFA Painting, Yale University, New Haven
BFA Visual Arts, Oregon State University, Corvallis
BFA Political Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis
Video Commission, Creative Time/MoMAPS1/ MTV – US
Tirana Facades Project, Collaboration with Tirana Town Hall and T.I.C.A.B. Facade design of communist living blocks, Tirana – AL
Producer, Bob Parks-“R & B Feeling”, Junior Aspirin Records – UK
AWARDS, GRANTS AND RESIDENCIES
Tiffany Foundation 2013 Biennial Grant
Catherine Doctorow Prize for Contemporary Painting
Artpace San Antonio, Spring Artist-in-Residence
Shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize, Pinchuk Art Centre, Kiev
De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs (De Volkskrant Art Award)
British School of Rome, Abbey Painting Fellowship, Rome, Italy
Van den Berch van Heemstede Stichting Fellowship, The Netherlands
Stichting Kees Verwey Fellowship, The Netherlands
Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten/Dutch Ministry of Education Residency, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Fine Arts Work Center Residency, Provincetown, United States
Barry Schactman prize for excellence in painting, drawing and printmaking, Yale University, New Haven, United States
Schickle-Collingwood Prize, Yale University, New Haven, United States
Oregon State University President’s Award for Excellence in Art
Oregon State University ‘Plinkiewisch Scholarship’, full tuition, 1999-2003, Corvallis, United States
Oregon State University ‘Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship, Creativity (URISC)’, grant for painting residency in Berlin, Corvallis, United States
TEACHING AND SEMINARS
MICA Maryland Institute Collage of Art, Baltimore, US, visiting artist
Culture Now: Tala Madani, In conversation with Jessica Morgan, ICA, London – UK
University of South Florida, (FL), US, Visiting Artist Lecturer
UCLA University of California, Los Angeles, US, visiting artist
De Ateliers, Amsterdam (NL), Visting Artist Lecturer
Rijksakademie van Beelende Kunsten, Amsterdam (NL), ‘When Devil enters the studio’ Lecturer
The Cooper Union, New York, (NY), US, visiting artist
Yale University, New Haven (CT), US, visiting artist
Yale Summer School, Norfolk, (CT), US, visiting artist
Tehran University, Tehran, IR, ‘artist talk’, lecturer
Parking Gallery, Tehran, IR, ‘Lecture on Contemporary Arts’, speaker
Yale University, New Haven (CT), US, visiting artist
Oregon State University, Corvallis (OR), US, visiting artist
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence (RI), US, visiting artist
Fine Arts Work Center, Provincetown (MA), US, ‘Grantmakers in the Arts’, panelist
Yale University, New Haven (CT), US, ‘Art and Transgression’, discussion panel
2004 German Council of Foreign Affairs (DGAP), Berlin, DE, research assistant: Immigration/ Integration
‘Iran-Germany Conference: Process of modernization in European and Islamic Countries’, Berlin, DE
‘Tehran/Berlin Media Conference’, Berlin, DE
‘He Disappeared Into Complete Silence’ , L. Cluitmans and A. Zeqo, Onomatopee and De Hallen Haarlem, NL
‘Speech Matters’ , Katerina Gregos, Danish Pavilion 54th Venice Biennale, Italy
‘Vitamin P2: New Perspectives in Painting’ Peio Aguirre and Negar Azimi, Phaidon Press, (NY), USA
‘Younger than Jesus: The Reader’ , Lauren Cornell, Massimiliano Gioni, and Laura Hoptman, New York, (NY), USA
‘Younger than Jesus Artist Directory’, Lauren Cornell, Massimiliano Gioni, and Laura Hoptman, New York, (NY), USA
‘Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art’, Hossein Amirsadeghi, New York, (NY), USA
‘Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East’ , The Saatchi Gallery, London, UK
‘De verbeelding van de emotie, kunst als bindend element in de hedendaagse samenleving / Imagining emotion, art as a binding element in contemporary society’, Adriaan van der Staay, KNAW/Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
SELECTED ARTICLES AND REVIEWS
Moshayedi, Aram. “Men without Women”, Frieze Magazine, issue 152.
Wiley, Chris. “Tala Madani”, Kaleidoscope Magazine, issue 17.
Masters, HG. “Stop(ped) Making Sense”, Art Asia Pacific, issue 81.
Fox, Dan. “Postcards from Venice Pt.1: First Impressions”, Frieze Blog, June 1.
Punj, Rajesh. “Tala Madani, Mad Men”, Canvas Magazine, Issue 111.
Coxhead, Gabriel. “Tala Madani” ,Time Out, May 23.
Millard, Coline. “Tala Madani”, Modern Painters, September 2011.
McGarry, Kevin. “Greater New Yorkers: Tala Madani”, The Moment, T magazine, June 2.
Kerr, Merrily. “Tala Madani”, Flash Art, May/June.
Al-Hadid, Diana. “Tala Madani”, Bomb, Number 109/Fall.
McLean-Ferris, Laura. “Tala Madani: Dazzle Men”, Art Review, April.
Kopsa, Maxine.“Dazzled Man: The Paintings of Tala Madani.” Metropolis M, April.
Holmgren, Katherine. “Tala Madani”, frieze.com, January 30.
Dorment, Richard. “Unveiled: New Art from the Middle East at the Saatchi Gallery”, The Telegraph, January 27.
Watson, Simon. “Tala Madani: The Iranian Three Stooges”, Whitewall, Summer.
Perjovschi, Dan. “Artist’s Favorites”, Spike Magazine, Winter.
Roje, Natasha. “Ass-As-Sin: Hashish Anyone?: Tala Madani”, Bidoun Magazine, #15 Pulp.
Falconer, Morgan. “Tala Madani: Some men desire cake, some become cake, and some have cake thrust upon them” Art World Magazine, Feb/Mar.
Morgan, Robert. “Tala Madani: Smoke and Mirrors”, The Brooklyn Rail, May.
Schwabsky, Barry. “First Take: Barry Schwabsky on Tala Madani”, Artforum, January.
Maerkle, Andrew. “Smoke and mirrors”, Art Asia Pacific, issue 14.
Smith, Roberta. “Tala Madani, Smoke and Mirrors”, The New York Times, 30 March.
McClemont, Doug. “Doug McClemont on Tala Madani at Lombard-Freid Projects, New York”, www.saatchi-gallery.co.uk, April.
Banai, Nuit. “Tala Madani: Lombard-Freid Projects”, Modern Painters, May.
“First Light”—focuses on Tala Madani’s engagement with the cinematic, presenting an animation and premiering a new series of paintings. Many of the paintings feature the presence of illumination—for example, the beam of a car headlight or flashlight; Madani’s subjects interrogate … More
We are excited to announce Pilar Corrias will be participating in Art Basel Hong Kong 2015. The gallery will present works by artists: Koo Jeong A Tala Madani Ken Okiishi Philippe Parreno Shahzia Sikander Rirkrit Tiravanija Tunga Art Basel Hong … More
Charles Avery, Tala Madani, along with artists recently exhibited in our Phantom Limbs group show – Alisa Baremboym, Ian Cheng, and Rachel Rose – are all included in the 2014 Taipei Biennial, curated by Nicolas Bourriaud. The Biennial focuses upon the topic Art … More
Tala Madani is included in the Hammer Museum’s biennial exhibition Made in L.A. 2014, featuring works by 35 Los Angeles artists with an emphasis on emerging and under recognised artists. It debuts recent work and new painting, installation, video, sculpture, photography, and … More
Following her solo exhibition Rear Projection at Nottingham Contemporary, the show travels in April 2014 to Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo (CAAC) in Seville, Spain. The exhibition presents a large selection of both new and recent works, combining the figurative and abstract in … More
In her first solo exhibition at a UK institution, Tala Madani will present a large selection of both new and recent works at Nottingham Contemporary. Combining the figurative and abstract in comic, paradoxical paintings and stop-motion animations, Madani’s work often … More
Participating at Artissima Pilar Corrias will present new works by artists: CHARLES AVERY ULLA VON BRANDENBURG TALA MADANI SABINE MORITZ ELIZABETH NEEL KEN OKIISHI PHILIPPE PARRENO MARY RAMSDEN JULIÃO SARMENTO RIRKRIT TIRAVANIJA ARTISSIMA Turin 8-10 November Booth: 1/2 Corridor Dark … More
The ICA, London have collaborated with Art on the Underground for a new off-site project, titled STOP!, at Canary Wharf Underground Station. STOP! is a three-part season of films and moving-image works by international artists and filmmakers who are showing as part of the ICA’s Artists’ … More
For the first time in TV history, ikono is launching an arts festival that will take place exclusively on TV and live webstream. From the 6th to 29th September 2013, the ikono On Air Festival will air a daily programme … More
Tala Madani will have works included in the 2013 Göteborg Biennial PLAY! Recapturing the Radical Imagination. The thematic approach for the biennial starts with a desire to investigate and critically reflect on the notions of play and radical imagination, as two important ingredients … More
Tala Madani has been commissioned to create a site specific mural for the exhibition How far away is the horizon in Holbæk, Denmark, curated by Solvej Ovesen. The exhibition of murals is a parallel event to the international performance art festival Occupy Utopia in … More
Videos/animations by Keren Cytter and Tala Madani are included in GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS, a video programme curated by Rita de Alencar Pinto, that explores the many facets of the female persona as portrayed by ten female video artists. GIRLS, GIRLS, GIRLS features work by Sophie … More
Tala Madani has been awarded the 2013 Catherine Doctorow prize for contemporary painting. Given by the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art (UMOCA) and the Jarvis and Constance Doctorow Family Foundation, the prize is worth fifteen thousand dollars and in addition … More
Tala Madani’s work is included in The Future Generation Art Prize@Venice 2013. Organised by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation and PinchukArtCentre the exhibition includes the 21 artists, from 16 different countries, who were shortlisted in the second edition of the first … More
Tala Madani’s largest solo exhibition to date, Tala Madani: Rip Image, at Moderna Museet Stockholm opens on 24 May, 2013. It will present a wide selection of paintings, works on paper and animations. Tala Madani: Rip Image 25 May – … More
Tala Madani is part of Artpace’s Spring Artist-in-Residence programme alongside artists Adam Putnam, and J. Parker Valentine. An exhibition of new works developed during the residency will be at Artpace from 21 March – 19 May 2013. At the opening … More
Tala Madani’s largest solo exhibition to date, Tala Madani: Rip Image, at Moderna Museet Malmö opens on February 16, 2013. A wide selection of paintings, works on paper and animations by the artist will be on show in the Turbine … More
Tala Madani and Shahzia Sikander are currently taking part in NO BORDERS: Contemporary art in a globalised world at the Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. The exhibition organised in partnership with Arnolfini together with independent curator Jeremy Lewison looks at … More
As part of the solo projects section of the fair, Pilar Corrias will present new works by Tala Madani. Art Los Angeles Contemporary 24-27 January 2013 The Barker Hangar 3021 Airport Avenue Santa Monica, CA 90405, USA http://artlosangelesfair.com/
Pilar Corrias is delighted to announce its participation in Frieze Art Fair 2012. The gallery will present new works by artists: Charles Avery Koo Jeong A Tala Madani Philippe Parreno Tobias Rehberger Rirkrit Tiravanija Frieze Art Fair, London 11-14 October … More
Tala Madani is taking part in UNREST: Revolt against Reason, a group show curated by Natalie Musteata at apexart which investigates issues of inequality, conflict and instability in recent history in the practices of contemporary artists Mounir Fatmi, Claire Fontaine, Shilpa … More
We are delighted to announce that Tala Madani has been shortlisted for the Future Generation Art Prize 2012. The exhibition of the 21 shortlisted artists will open at the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev on 27 October 2012 and an … More
Tala Madani has won the De Volkskrant Prijs (De Volkskrant Art Award). Stedelijk Museum Schiedam will host a group show of nominees scheduled to open on 10 March. The Nominees: Charlotte Dumas, David Jablonowski, Tala Madani, Rory Pilgrim, Sarah van Sonsbeeck … More
Tala Madani has been nominated for the De Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs (De Volkskrant Art Award). Stedelijk Museum Schiedam will host a group show of nominees scheduled to open on 10 March. The Nominees: Charlotte Dumas, David Jablonowski, Tala Madani, Rory … More
Culture Now: Tala Madani Tala Madani joins us for this lunchtime talk to discuss her work and practice with Tate Modern curator Jessica Morgan. Madani’s expressive brushwork and bold palette combine to depict darkly comic mise-en-scénes, with many of her … More
The gallery is delighted to announce Tala Madani’s solo exhibition at Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam. The exhibition will be Madani’s first solo show at a public institution. Tala Madani Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam Rozenstraat 59 1016 NN Amsterdam 10 December 2011- … More
Tala Madani will be participating in the group exhibition, ‘He Disappeared into Complete Silence: re-reading a single artwork by Louise Bourgeois’ at De Hallen Haarlem. The exhibition springs from the love that the curators Laurie Cluitmans and Arnisa Zeqo share … More
Pilar Corrias Gallery is delighted to announce that Tala Madani will be exhibiting work at the Danish Pavilion at the 54th Venice Biennale, 2011. Tala Madani will be one of 18 artist participating in the group exhibition, Speech Matters, which … More
Pilar Corrias is delighted to announce Tala Madani’s participation in Touched, the international exhibition at the 2010 Liverpool Biennial. A new animation produced specifically bt Madani for the show will be displayed alongside a recent body of the artist’s animation … More
Pilar Corrias is delighted to announce Tala Madani’s participation in, The Symbolic Efficiency of the Frame, the 4th Tirana International Contemporary Art Biennial, Tirana, Albania. The largest international art event in Albamnia, T.I.C.A.B seeks to utilise contemporary art as a … More
Andrew Berardini, “Tala Madani: First Light”, Artforum, January 2016 (Download PDF)
Robert Shore, “Paint Misbehavin'”, Elephant Magazine, 2014 (Download PDF)
James Cahill, Tala Madani, Art in America, July 2014 (Download PDF)
Jareh Das, “Laugh out Loud, Group Dynamics and the Chatarsis of Tala Madani”, Harpers Bazar, 2013 (Download PDF)
Men without Women by Aram Moshayedi in Frieze Magazine January/February 2013 issue (Download PDF)
Tala Madani by Chris Wiley in Kaleidoscope Issue 17 Winter 2012/2013 (Download PDF)
Stop(ped) Making Sense by HG Masters in ArtAsiaPacific Issue 81 November/December 2012 (Download PDF)
Modern Painter, Sept 2011 (Download PDF)
GreaterNewYorkers, 2010 (Download PDF)
For three weeks a selection of film and video works from nine gallery artists will be on rotation. ULLA VON BRANDENBURG | 22 – 23 February MARY REID KELLEY | 24 – 25 February TALA MADANI | 26 – 27 February … More
Follow the sign… Keep in line—be careful not to slip. Pilar Corrias is pleased to present Abstract Pussy, Tala Madani’s third solo exhibition with the gallery featuring a new set of paintings. Tala Madani’s paintings confront and challenge our very … More
Pilar Corrias Gallery is delighted to present ‘Manual Man’: an exhibition of new work by Tala Madani. Madani works with painting and stop-motion video animation to create playfully rendered, cartoonish situations loaded with violence and machismo. Her second solo exhibition … More
Pilar Corrias Gallery is delighted to present ‘It’s fine as long as you draw but don’t film’ (Waltz with Bashir, 2008): An Exhibition of Drawings. Directed by Ari Folman, the Golden Globe Award wining, feature-length animation Waltz with Bashir (2008) … More
Pilar Corrias Gallery is delighted to present the London debut of Iranian-American painter Tala Madani. One of the most engaging painters of her generation, Tala Madani creates darkly comic mis-en-scènes in which small and large scale groupings of bald men … More