Y. Z. Kami’s silent, meditative paintings invoke various mystical traditions culled from both the East and West. Larger than life portraits of people, some friends, others complete strangers, have a haunting presence. In his recent exhibition at the Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills, five large-scale paintings of introspective figures are at once majestic and intimate, strikingly present yet withdrawn. In other work, Kami emphasizes the flux between matter and spirit, life and mortality, the outer layer and the inner soul.

Y. Z. Kami was born in Tehran in 1956 and lives and works in New York. His work has been widely exhibited at venues including the Parrish Museum of Art (2007), the Museum of Modern Art (2006), the Istanbul Biennial (2005), and Deitch Projects (2001, 1999, 1998). Most recently, his work was featured in “Think With the Senses, Feel With the Mind” curated by Robert Storr at the 52nd Venice Biennale in 2007.

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