Tala Madani

Tala Madani - Music Man Born in Tehran in 1981, Tala Madani is one of the most engaging painters of her generation. 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.

On Air: Tala Madani

The ikono On Air Festival is showing the stop motion animation Music Man by Tala Madani. -> From Curator Omar Kholeif - Syndrome of a Decade


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, Tala Madani made her solo debut in 2007. Recent solo exhibitions include 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 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 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.


- Tala Madani at Pilar Corrias - Tala Madani on Wikipedia - Frieze: Men Without Women - The paintings, drawings and animations of Tala Madani - Tala Madani at Bombsite

Videos by Tala Madani

Tala Madani, Under Man, 2012 Tala Madani, Hospital, 2009 Tala Madani, Headbug, 2009 Tala Madani, Apple Tree, 2007 Studio Visit: Tala Madani Frieze visits artist Tala Madani at her Los Angeles studio, where she speaks about her painting and animation. Future Generation Art Prize 2012 - Tala Madani, Iran

Curators' Special

Part of the curatorial selection of Omar Kholeif.