Farmanfarmaian’s ‘Khayyam Fountain’ on view at Al Hamriyah Studios in Sharjah

June 29, 2021

Monir Farmanfarmaian’s installation Khayyam Fountain is now on view at Sharjah Art Foundation’s Al Hamriyah Studios. The work was commissioned by the Bruges Triennial in 2018.
As the last major work of the late artist, it is made up of varyingly shaped glass pieces stacked in layers to form a twisting fountain. She drew inspiration from Persian polymath Omar Khayyam, known for his work on cubic equations and the development of the Persian calendar.
Farmanfarmaian’s homage rises above a hollow base and its material causes changing light refractions throughout the day. The form of the fountain evokes the metaphor of water as a constant fount of life.
“Khayyam Fountain is an installation that captures the imagination with its complexity, specifically its ethereal interplay with light, and was one of Farmanfarmaian's most ambitious artworks,” said Omar Kholeif, the foundation’s senior curator and director of collections.
Born in Qazvin, Iran in 1922, Monir’s distinguished career spanned more than six decades. Incorporating traditional reverse glass painting, mirror mosaics, and principles of Islamic geometry with a modern sensibility, her sculptures and installations defy easy categorization. Monir died peacefully at her home in Tehran on April 20, 2019.




Photo: ‘Khayyam Fountain’, 2018. Glass; 200 x 160 cm. (Courtesy: Sharjah Art Foundation).