Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi Comes Home to Contemporary Wing

Hedieh Javanshir Ilchi is no stranger to the D.C. art scene, and yet, when she received a call from Lauren Gentile for her next show, she was “super excited and started speaking Farsi.”

Why? Because not only would this be Hedieh’s first solo show, but also the first show and grand opener for Lauren Gentile’s Contemporary Wing gallery. The show, titled “I’m Coming Home,” is set to open May 12 and is symbolic for both Hedieh and Lauren. In this exhibit, Hedieh explores her Iranian identity, while Lauren returns to a former home at the 14th St. Irvine Contemporary gallery.

We had the amazing fortune of sitting down with Hedieh in her studio to get a sneak peek at her work for the show, and to discuss her emerging career. 

Hedieh’s studio, located at the Arlington Arts Center, is a shared space with three other artists, and yet, her work is instantly recognizable.  The walls are full of works, dripping with bold colors, that will be shown at the Contemporary Wing in May.

Coming from Iran to the U.S. in 1999, most of Hedieh’s work concerns her identity and the depiction of the two different cultures from her point-of-view as an Iranian American.  Hedieh feels like her style really changed after getting her graduate degree at American University, when she says her work transformed from very autobiographical to “a hybrid of 2 cultures.”

Having done her undergraduate work at the Corcoran College of Art and Design, Hedieh remembers the first piece she ever sold. It was called “Silent Lullaby,” and it sold at a D.C. auction to a family from Holland.  

When asked about what she’s looking forward to the most about working with Lauren and the Contemprary Wing, Hedieh modestly replied that she is trying not to expect anything, but truly hopes that her work has a place in the growing D.C. art scene.  She says that she “wants it to be about both her work and Lauren’s great accomplishment of opening Contemporary Wing.” Having worked with Lauren while she was the Director at Irvine Contemporary, Hedieh feels like this will be a smooth transition to showing her work with Contemporary Wing.

“I’m Coming Home” will show eight works of the fragile notion of what Hedieh knows as home.  Her latest works show the tension between calm and chaos that exists in being an Iranian American.  She described the moments of watching foreign TV in Iran as being like a safe haven paradise, an illegal action that often resulted in the attack on a household to remove a satellite.  She describes this moment as a peaceful break from the turmoil that surrounds the Iranian culture, and feels that such conventions are the driving force behind the powerful works she intends to show at Contemporary Wing.

The show opens on May 12, 2012 at the Contemporary Wing’s location at 1412 14th St NW.

 For more information on Hedieh Janvanshir Ilchi’s work, please visit her website at http://www.hediehart.com/. For more information on and Lauren Gentile and Hedieh’s exhibit, please visit http://contemporarywing.com/