Maliheh Afnan (b. 1935) is a poet of lines, of earthen colors and iconic signs. In her often small-scale works, the artist creates dreamlike scenes of a perfect language; delicate palimpsests that evoke lost childhood memories and stir up the unexposed. The artist creates an écriture automatique beyond legibility. She writes her paintings, right or left-aligned, as contemporary pictorial quotes of an Antiquity that can no longer be found in any language. Her works are hieroglyphic ruins of ancient landscapes, faces of exile, a visual poetry in the tradition of Persian and Arabic calligraphy reflecting an immense, magical beauty that resists the withdrawal of this tradition.
Maliheh Afnan’s works evoke Paul Klee’s poetic miniature works of paper and are reminiscent of the work of Mark Tobey, to whom the artist felt closely related.