Hayv Kahraman: The Foreign in Us
Spring 2024 Exhibition
The Moody presents an installation of new and recent works by Hayv Kahraman (b. 1981, Baghdad, Iraq), opening on January 12, 2024. The Foreign in Us is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Texas and includes major works informed by the artist’s Iraqi-Kurdish heritage and experience as a refugee while highlighting her research-driven practice. Through her profound imagery and investigation into the decolonization of the body and nature, Kahraman challenges fear and apprehension of otherness, advocating instead for compassion and acceptance.
In the artist's unique compositions, questions inspired by immunology and microbiology, as well as history, are approached through the lens of the othered body, often represented in contortionist postures as a means to interrogate normative gender constructions and racial stereotypes that can adversely affect migrant groups. This conceptual focus and innovative practice are presented through a selection of more than forty paintings and drawings from public and private collections in the United States and abroad. In addition to several large-scale canvases, the exhibition will feature intimate drawings that demonstrate the artist’s meticulous draftsmanship and mastery of line and color.
Spanning the last five years of her practice, the works in this exhibition trace Kahraman's shift in technical and thematic focus while revealing a constant concern for the trauma of displacement and the healing power of cultural reconnection. Seen together for the first time in this exhibition, this selection of artworks presents a poignant and timely invitation to consider reframing our relationship with difference in order to choose collaboration over fear.
The exhibition is curated by Frauke V. Josenhans, Curator, Moody Center for the Arts, and is made possible by the Moody Center for the Arts Founders Circle and the Elizabeth Lee Moody Excellence Fund for the Arts.
The exhibition design is by MILLIØNS and the graphic design is by Miko McGinty Inc.
The Moody Center for the Arts will publish an exhibition catalog for Hayv Kahramn: The Foreign in Us to be released in May 2024 and distributed by Gregory R. Miller Publishing. The publication, edited by Frauke V. Josenhans, will feature original writing by Hayv Kahraman, and an essay by Miriam Ticktin, Professor of Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. The publication is made possible by the Moody Center for the Arts the Rice University Art Gallery Endowment, Pilar Corrias, London, Jack Shainman Gallery, NY, and Vielmetter Los Angeles.