Arab-Iranian Artist To Be U.Va.'s Painter-in-Residence

March 22, 2012

March 22, 2012 — Arab-Iranian artist Samira Abbassy, whose work deals with women, war and identity, will be a Painter-in-Residence in the Studio Art Program of the University of Virginia's McIntire Department of Art.

Abbassy will be in residence and creating her own work from April 1 through 29 in Ruffin Hall's studio 323. She will lecture on her work April 4 at 5:30 p.m. in Campbell Hall, room 158. She also will give critiques in painting classes and work with Aunspaugh Fifth-Year Students whose work focuses on painting.

At the end of her U.Va. residency, Abbassy will have an Open Studio on April 27 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Ruffin Hall, studio 323. The public is invited to both her lecture and open studio.

Born in Ahwaz, Iran, Abbassy moved to London as a child, where she attended the Canterbury College of Art.

In 1998, she moved to New York to help set up the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts. Her work is shown internationally and has been acquired for private and public collections, including the British Government Art Collection and The British Museum. She was awarded a Joan Mitchell Painting/Sculpture Award in 2010 and a Yaddo Residency in 2006.

In a review of her exhibition at the Anthony Giordano Gallery at Dowling College, N.Y., critic Benjamin Genocchio of The New York Times wrote; "Ms. Abbassy has said in an artist's statement that she uses self-portraiture as 'a way of defining myself in a constantly shifting cultural context.' Perhaps, then, these pictures are best approached as the embodiment of psychic, spiritual and emotional states. They are about the uncomfortable experience of trying to mold an identity from life's events and influences."