Pouran Jinchi, The Blind Owl (Pattern), 2013, Pens & copper on Shojoshi paper, 71 pieces, 25.4 x 36.8 cm.

Pouran Jinchi, Dots (The Blind Owl Series), 2013), Ink and Copper on paper, 95pcs, 56.5 x 38cm (Detail).

Pouran Jinchi, The Blind Owl, a Continuing Deconstruction of Calligraphy

Pouran Jinchi, Untitled #2 (The Blind Owl Series), 2013, Plexiglass and Permenant Marker, 25.4 x 30.5 cm x 5.4 cm, detail,

Pouran Jinchi, The Blind Owl (Purple), 2013, Ink on paper, 71pcs, 12 x 13.3cm each, detail.

Pouran Jinchi, Black Painting (The Blind Owl Series), 2013, Ink on Canvas, 152.4 x 122 cm.

Pouran Jinchi, The Blind Owl (Purple), 2013, Ink on paper, 71pcs, 12 x 13.3cm each.


The Third Line
Warehouse 8 St. 6 Al Quoz 3
+ 971 4 341 1367
Pouran Jinchi, The Blind Owl
September 18-October 24, 2013

Pouran Jinchi returns to The Third Line with her third solo show, The Blind Owl, continuing her investigation into deconstructing calligraphy and looking into the deeper complexities of the written word. The artist explores the physical form and its signified insinuations through the lens of the dark narratives of The Blind Owl, a major literary work by Iranian author Sadegh Hedayat.

This publication, penned in the late 1930s, explores a grim fascination with death and for the most part was banned in Iran. It was this polemic around the book that aroused curiosity in Pouran’s youth, and has been a source of inspiration for her work. “I write only for my shadow which is cast on the wall in front of the light. I must introduce myself to it” - Pouran uses Hedayat’s quote as a point of departure for exploring various media such as intricate drawings on paper and paintings, as well as sculptures in copper and plexiglass, to deliver her experience of the confessional narrative.

For The Blind Owl (Pattern), the artist has created 71 pieces that deconstruct and reassemble the 71 letters of the quote. Using pen and copper on paper, Jinchi draws out individual Persian alphabets in decorative patterns, delving deep into the transcendent value each mark makes.

In a similar structure, The Blind Owl (the dot drawings) includes 96 drawings on paper that are a visual appropriation from the 96 pages of the book, abstracted to only accents of the text. By doing so, Pouran brings the focus onto the obscurities that collectively make up the story.

Pouran further explores the physicality of the written word with sculptures in copper and plexiglass. Incidentally, through a more tangible interpretation that uses reflective copper and translucent plexiglass surfaces, the artist brings forward a more ethereal quality of the work.

In this new body of work, Pouran interprets the Iranian tradition of calligraphy and Islamic geometry through the lens of contemporary aesthetics and focuses on the weight of letters, phrases and quotes to convey her own narrative. As with previous works where she drew inspiration from seminal text works like the Quran and the Cyrus Cylinder (ancient Persian text based artifact), The Blind Owl is an example of how Pouran uses literature to inform her practice. By using abstraction and repetitive patterning, she provides a visual experience that is left to the individual interpretation of the viewer.

About Pouran Jinchi Pouran Jinchi is an Iranian-born, New York artist who borrows from her home culture's traditions of literature and calligraphy to pursue her own aesthetic investigations. Having been trained in calligraphy, she finds the relation between words and forms, natural or non-objective, deeply intertwined. In Pouran’s recent work, viewers will appreciate her increasingly detailed focus on the form of language as subject matter.

Pouran’s works are represented in prominent institutional collections such as The Metropolitan Museum, New York; Pratt Institute, New York; The Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, NY; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; Federal Reserve Bank, NY; Farjam Collection, Dubai, and several major and international corporate collections. She’s held several solo exhibitions in New York, Dubai, Japan and others. Her work has also been included in several group exhibitions in prominent venues such as Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (2013); Asian Art Museum, San Francisco (2012); Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2010); and the Brooklyn Museum, New York (2009).

Pouran Jinchi, Untitled #1 (The Blind Owl Series), 2013, Enamel on Panel, 71 pcs_, 15.2 x 15.2 x 5.4 cm , each, aprox. 157.5 x 157.5 cm overall (Detail),

Pouran Jinchi, Untitled #3 (The Blind Owl Series), 2013, Copper and Paint, 104 x 43 x 25.4cm (Detail).

Pouran Jinchi, Dots (The Blind Owl Series), 2013, Ink and Copper on paper, 95pcs, 56.5 x 38cm (detail).

Pouran Jinchi, The Blind Owl (Purple), 2013, Ink on paper, 71pcs, 12 x 13.3cm each (Detail).

Pouran Jinchi, Untitled (The Blind Owl Series), 2013, Plexiglas and Permenant Marker, 25.4 x 30.5 cm x 5.4 cm, (Detail).


Pouran Jinchi, Night 3, 2009, Waxed charcoal and pencil on Yatsuo paper, 94 x 63.5 cm.

The Calligraphy of Pouran Jinchi as a Means of Exploring Islamic Prayer

Pouran Jinchi, Morning 2, 2009, Waxed charcoal and pencil on Rice paper, 45.7 x 45.7 cm.

Pouran Jinchi, Dawn 1, 2009, Waxed charcoal and pencil on Chartham paper, 96.5 x 63.5 cm.


The Third Line
Al Quoz 3
+9714 341 1367
Ritual Imprint
New Works by Pouran Jinchi

January 21-February 25, 2010

Trained as a calligrapher in Mashad, Iran, Jinchi’s work focuses on incorporation of traditional aspects of her culture and calligraphy to pursue her own aesthetic investigations of her faith. This series of drawings pursues a specific artistic question: to imagine a form for prayer. The drawings are maps of faith, propelled by questions on the place of religious ritual in a secular age. Like patterns and habits of everyday life, their circular and rhythmic motifs result from forms repeated over time. Jinchi incorporates delicately crafted drawings of patterned textures and traditional calligraphy with Islamic geometric design to form new works detailing implications of prayer and ritual.

The drawings are rubbings, made by scratching charcoal on thin paper over prayer stones (mohr) to reproduce an imprint of a textured surface. The forms are outlined with pencil or text to emphasize detail. Repetitions of forms create new designs; recreating the surface of the mohr, or Muslim prayer tablet made of baked clay, on the spot where the forehead meets the ground during daily prayers. Translated literally from "stamp," a mohr is decorated on one side with the word Allah, names of holy figures or other Arabic phrases, in simple geometric or arabesque patterns and come in a variety of detail. This series, made up of a drawings comprised of geometric shapes found in Islamic art, usually circles and rectangles is structured so that the same shape is used over and over in various sizes and angles to create a larger and more detailed work. Jinchi uses the roughness of waxy charcoal against white and black paper to create contrasted patterns with a variety of prayer stones. The separate designs and/or calligraphic text on each stone contribute to the final image. The replicating motifs add separate layers to existing shapes resulting in a work of meditative calmness. Much like the act of prayer.

Even though an array of styles and themes has been explored in Jinchi’s repertoire, she retains her calligraphy background with abstract expressionism to convey these ideas. Her work always stays true to a consciousness which acknowledges both past and present artistic production and social thought.

Pouran Jinchi was born in 1959 Mashad, Iran and currently lives and works in New York. Jinchi obtained a degree in Engineering at George Washington University, Washington D.C. in 1982 and then took up painting at the University of California, Los Angeles (1989), followed with studio painting at the Art Students League in New York (1993). Her work suggests a mixture of calligraphy and abstract expressionism. Ultimately, Jinchi succeeds in combining the achievements of her Persian heritage while simultaneously working through discussions of contemporary aesthetics.

Jinchi has had over ten solo exhibitions in New York alone. Her work has been exhibited internationally in shows in Japan, Germany, Qatar and the UAE and included in public collections including the Federal Reserve Bank, New York, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C and Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn.

Pouran Jinchi, Morning 6, 2009, Waxed charcoal and pencil on Rice paper, 45.7 x 45.7 cm.

Pouran Jinchi, Noon 5, 2009, Waxed charcoal and pencil on Okawara paper, 188 x 99 cm.