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October 2022, English
11×16 cm, 96 pages, 50 color and 8 b/w ill., Softcover with flaps
ISBN 978-1-915609-07-6
Simon Josebury, SecMoCo

In this deeply personal portrait of Sonia Balassanian (b. 1942, Arak), an Iranian American artist of Armenian descent, author Dr. Omar Kholeif weaves together poetry, memoir, and historical anecdote to trace the contours of Balassanian’s world.

With a career spanning more than five decades, Balassanian is known for her multidisciplinary, politically charged practice that spans painting, poetry, photography, video, installation, performance, and drawing. At the heart of her corpus are colorful, large-scale, lyrically abstract paintings that she began in the 1960s. In the 1980s, after she had moved to New York, her work took a political turn following the Iranian Revolution. Balassanian drew newfound attention for Hostages: A Diary (1980), an installation of drawings that mapped the experience of following the Iran hostage crisis from the United States, and for Cauterized Literature (1987), a mixed-media series of burnt books mounted on canvas that comments on censorship in Iran.

Balassanian lives and works between New York and Armenia. This is the first comprehensive monograph of her art and life.