Golnaz Fathi (B. 1972)

Golnaz Fathi (B. 1972)


Born in Tehran, Iran in 1972, Golnaz Fathi is an influential member of a currently thriving generation of artists to surface in Iran over the last twenty years.

While studying graphic design at Azad University in Tehran, Fathi became fascinated by the expressive potential of traditional Persian calligraphic forms and immersed herself in a sustained six-year study of traditional calligraphy. She became one of only a tiny handful of women trained to the highest level within that discipline. At that point, Fathi made the conscious decision to fulfill her career as an artist rather than to continue within the privileged world of pure Islamic calligraphy, practiced predominantly by male calligraphers.

Fathi investigated ever more abstract forms of representation, using modern media to aid these explorations, while still basing her work on fundamental calligraphic practices and techniques. The introduction of bold swatches of colour further emphasised her transition from a codified system based on prescriptive rules to an alternative idiom that gave precedence to her own imaginative modes of subjective expression.

Fathi’s works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Brighton & Hove Museum, England; Carnegie Mellon University, Doha; the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; Asian Civilisations Museum, Singapore; British Museum, London; Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; and The Farjam Collection, Dubai.

Golnaz Fathi has received a number of awards, including the Best Woman Calligraphist in Ketabat Style in 1995 by the Iranian Society of Calligraphy in Tehran. She was a member of the main competition jury of the Sharjah Calligraphy Biennale in 2010, and she was chosen as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2011. She has also exhibited in museums and galleries around the world, including in France, USA, India, China, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Germany, and Switzerland.

News & Press

18 Apr 2014

Art Bahrain | “Golnaz Fathi, the Living Road”

Fall Winter 2013-14 Art Bahrain, Golnaz Fathi, the Living Road, 02 fall winter2013-14...

18 Apr 2014

Art Radar Asia | “Written in style, Golnaz Fathi’s calligraphic works debut in Shanghai”

Iranian artist Golnaz Fathi discusses the speaking stillness of her work. Trained as a traditional calligrapher in Iran,...