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Nazanin Moghbeli

Nazanin Moghbeli
November 7—December 15, 2024
Opening Reception:
Wednesday, November 13, 4:30–7:00 PM

The List Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of drawings, paintings, and mixed-media works by Philadelphia-based artist Nazanin Moghbeli. The exhibition will take place November 7—December 15, 2024. The artist will give a public talk about her work titled "From Crisis to Creativity: Lessons from Art, Music, and Medicine," on Wednesday, November 13 at 4:30 p.m. in the Lang Performing Arts Center Cinema.  The List Gallery reception and refreshments will follow from 5:00–7:00 p.m. Gallery hours are: Tuesdays through Sundays, Noon–5:00 p.m. Admission is free.

Moghbeli's creative practice embodies her identity as a dual citizen of Iran and the United States. She draws with traditional Iranian bamboo ghalams, or quills and integrates diverse calligraphic techniques into her creative process. As the daughter of Manzar Moghbeli, a noted practitioner of nasta'liq, a calligraphic script that developed in the fourteenth century in Iran, she considers how traditional calligraphic forms and techniques may be honored, lost, and reinvented over generations. In her own works, Moghbeli abstracts and detaches traditional forms from their religious contexts and explores their emotional resonance.

Moghbeli's art also explores the loss and nostalgia familiar to immigrants from many war-torn countries. She grew up in Tehran, Iran, where she lived through the 1979 overthrow of Shah Pahlavi, the Islamic revolution, and the first three years of the Iran/Iraq war. While living in Iran, she studied calligraphy, miniature painting, and music. Her family emigrated to the United States in 1983 when she was nine years old.  Continuing her schooling in the United States, she developed a love of biology, literature, and poetry that continues to inform her art. More recently, her studio practice has also provided a way to examine both the political oppression of women in Iran and the experience of diaspora.

Moghbeli's current artistic practice also distills lessons from her experience as a cardiologist caring for critically ill patients. Her expressive and nuanced use of line and attention to rhythm, breath, and bodily gestures reflect her extensive study of anatomy, electrocardiography, and other forms of medical imaging. Her studio practice reciprocally informs her work as a practicing physician, researcher and medical educator. 

Moghbeli  graduated from Swarthmore College with a double major in studio art and biology in 1996. She went on to complete a drawing certificate at Maryland Institute College of Art while earning an M.D. and a Master of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in 2001. She has presented solo presentations in the Philadelphia area at InLiquid Gallery (2023); Susanna Gold Gallery (2021); LGTripp Gallery (2015); and Burrison Gallery, University of Pennsylvania (2015). Her work has also been included in group exhibitions at diverse venues, including Commonweal Gallery, Bridgette Mayer Gallery, NoBA Artspaces, Fleisher Art Memorial, and Maryland Institute of Art. Her work has been collected by the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Temple University School of Business, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as well as by diverse corporations and individuals. Recently, the artist was awarded a month-long artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center (2022) and a year-long artist residency at Sidney Kimmel Medical College (2021-July 2022).