Published by Skira/Gagosian. Text by Robert Storr, Laura Cumming. Interview by Elena Geuna.
Over the past 30 years, Iranian artist Y.Z. Kami (born 1956) has created a stunning oeuvre of large portrait canvases and moving abstract and geometric works. Copublished with Skira and Gagosian, this comprehensive monograph collects over 300 of Y.Z. Kami's works in color along with essays by curator, critic and writer Robert Storr, Guardian art critic Laura Cumming and curator of the Pinault Collection at Palazzo Grassi, Elena Geuna. Y.Z. Kami’s large-scale portraits recreate the visceral experience of a face-to-face encounter, suggesting a connection to the presence of each subject. Through a matte, uniform haze, he depicts his subjects with eyes open or closed, gazing forward or looking down. Kami’s focus on each individual’s face reveals an inner life beneath immediate appearances—a feat that is particularly resonant in the context of contemporary portraiture.
Published by Walther König, Köln. Foreword by Ziba de Weck. Text by Julien Jonas Bismuth, Doris van Drathen.
Emerging Persian-born figurative painter Y.Z. Kami's canvases feature flat, matte portraits resembling Byzantine frescos or Egyptian Fayum portraits. Included here are such works from the past decade, along with abstracted collages, made from poetry and prayer texts, inspired by the whirling motions of Sufi dervishes.