Azerbaijani artist Faig Ahmed is known for his mesmerizing textile masterpieces. He debuted Doubts, an intricate red tapestry in 2020 after COVID-19 interrupted his artistic practice. Now, three new works join the piece on display in a solo exhibition titled Faig Ahmed: PIR at Sapar Contemporary in New York. This exhibit includes three textile pieces inspired by spiritual minds that are highly influential in Azerbaijani culture, as well as a video from the artist himself.
Entitled Shams Tabrizi, Yahya al-Shirvani al-Bakuvi, and Nizami Ganjavi, the three textile works of PIR appear almost liquid. Each piece descends the walls of the gallery, pooling on the floor like rivers of paint. The gallery describes the pieces as “sites of [Ahmed's] own cultural geography, a tapestry of cultural and political history, language, spiritual values, and art.” Viewers are all at once entranced by color, history, and mysticism.
The title of the exhibit, PIR, draws upon the history of the three mystics and poets, in addition to the land of Azerbaijan itself. Pyr means “fire” in Greek, and Azerbaijan takes its name from the holy fire of the ancient Zoroastrian religion. Pir in Persian and Arabic indicates a Sufi spiritual guide. As such, the new textile works bring together the rich history of Azerbaijan.
PIR is currently on view at Sapar Contemporary in New York until January 17, 2022. Ahmed also has an upcoming solo exhibition at the San Luis Obispo Museum of Art (SLOMA) in California starting on February 12 that will run through May 15, 2022. To learn more about these beautiful works and the artist behind them, explore Ahmed's website.