Mitra Fabian is a sculptor and installation artist working with atypical materials such as tape, glue, various office and scientific products, and even window blinds.  As she builds with these materials, she deconstructs them or alters them in such a way that they are not immediately recognizable.  The reconstruction is in some way determined by what the material is capable of doing, but not meant to do.  The new physical form is always more organic, often mimicking the appearance of tumors, magnified cells, or mold.  These materials often perform as a skin – their translucency captures light and plays tricks on the eye- breathing, swaying, or slowly and quietly growing.  Fabian uses exclusively manufactured materials thereby transforming the artificial, throwaway product into something seemingly natural.  This serves as a commentary on the increasingly modified condition of humans, which pits nature against culture and blurs the line between organic and manufactured.

Mitra Fabian was born in Iran and raised in Boston.  She received a BA in Art with an Anthropology minor from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio.  She located to Los Angeles in 1996 and began to show her work both locally and nationally.  She returned to school in 2002 to receive an MFA from California State University, Northridge.  As of May 2005, she has located to the Bay Area.  Fabian has been showing her work nationally since 1997, and had a solo show at the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in 2007.  Her work has also been featured in shows the Museum of Contemporary Craft, the Laguna Art Museum, and the Armory Center for the Arts.  She has also shown with prominent galleries in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  In the summer of 2009, she was an artist in residence at Bemis in Omaha, NE.  Her work has been reviewed by several media organizations including Spark, KQED Television, Ruby Mag, an online Argentinean art magazine, Angeleno Magazine, and Artweek. She is also a professor at Sacramento City College teaching sculpture and drawing.

Solo & Partner Exhibitions

2014
On Site, Thacher Gallery, University of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

2013
Strategems, Hinge Modern, Culver City, CA

2012
Concentric, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA

2008
Accumulations, Kondos Gallery, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA

2007
Propagation, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
Disproportionate Priorities, Bandini Art, Los Angeles, CA

2005
Room for Recovery, MFA Thesis Show, California State University, Northridge, CA

2004
Surface Treatment, Gallery 825, Bergamot Station, Santa Monica, CA

2003
Mind Becomes Matter, Four Doors Gallery, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA

1998
Lain Bare, Impromptu Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Selected Group Exhibitions

2014
Group Show, Supernatural, San Francisco, CA, curated by Christine Duval

2013
Infinity + 1, Arena 1, Santa Monica, CA, curated by Christine Duval
Perpetuation of Myth, Art Museum of Los Gatos, Los Gatos, CA, curated by Nazanin Hedayat Munroe
West Valley & Mission College Art Faculty Exhibition, Triton Art Museum, Santa Clara, CA

2012
The Office, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA
In the Currents, Asian Resource Center Gallery, Oakland, CA, curated by Taraneh Hemami & Lucy
Seena Kim
The Heart of the Future, Kondos Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Redux, University of Mary Washington Galleries, Fredericksburg, VA

2011
Busywork, Kondos Gallery, Sacramento City College, Sacramento, CA
H2O, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA
Chain Letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, Santa Monica, CA

2010
Manufractured: Forward, Oliver Art Center, California College of the Arts, Oakland, CA
Out of Order, Fine Arts Gallery, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Flatlanders III, Nelson Gallery, Davis, CA
Summer in the City, JayJay, Sacramento, CA
Groundswell, Kala, Oakland, CA
Installation, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA
Monotype Marathon, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA

2009
Manufractured: Repurposed Products & Reformed Archetypes, Natalie & James
Thompson Art Gallery, San Jose, CA
Sculpture Invitational, Sacramento State University, Sacramento, CA
Sweetness, Moorpark College Gallery, Moorpark, CA
Auction 100, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA

2008
Manufractured, Museum of Contemporary Craft, Portland, OR
East of the West, SomArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
Pink Week Art Show, Tangent Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Manmade, East Gallery, Claremont Graduate University, Claremont, CA

2007
Don’t Fence Me In, Bandini Art, Culver City, CA
Summer Selections, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA
3D Outreach Show – Sculpture Invitational, Robert Else Gallery, Sacramento, CA
Winter Group Show I, Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA

2006
Spring Installation, Phantom Galleries, San Jose, CA
Materialism, Don Soker Gallery, San Francisco, CA
Out of This World, Limn Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2005
All California, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, CA
Beyond Plastic, Limn Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2004
Open Show, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA Juror:  James Elaine
Rustic & Urbane, East Gallery, Claremont University, Claremont, CA
Open Call LA, Barnsdall Municipal Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Northwest Territories, Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena, CA
X1, Transport Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
50/50, Gallery 825, Los Angeles, CA
Repeat, Transport Gallery, Los Angeles,   CA Curator:  Joseph Davidson

2003
Petite Works, Gallery 825, Bergamot Annex, Santa Monica, CA
On Site, Angel’s Gate Gallery, San Pedro, CA  Juror: Jay Belloli

2002
Showstoppers, Long Beach Arts, Long Beach, CA Juror: Ashley Emenegger
Freedom of Expression, Lankershim Art Gallery, North Hollywood, CA
Tiny Works, Gallery Ophelia, Eagle Rock, CA

2001
4th Annual Hollywood Art Crawl, Metal Maddness Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
National Juried Art Competition, Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA
Juror:  Maxwell L. Anderson

2000
New Art Y2K, Kingston Gallery, Boston, MA,  July 2000

1999
Summer Showcase, Limner Gallery, New York, NY,  August 2000

1997
Celebrating the World Through Art, The Somerville Museum, Somerville, MA

1996
Places Between, Thesis Show, Olin Gallery, Gambier, OH

Education

California State University, Northridge
M.F.A. 2005, Sculpture

Kenyon College
B.A. 1996, Art major, Anthropology minor

Awards & Residencies

Centre d’Art, Marnay Art Centre, Marnay, France, July 2012
San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art Print Center, March 2012
Bemis Center Residency, Omaha, NE, Summer 2009
Nominee for 2006 SECA Award
Artist in Residency, Works/San Jose, Fall 2005
Graduate Studies Thesis Grant, 2004
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Member 2004
Arts Council Scholarship, CSUN, incoming M.F.A.  2002
Peterson Printmaking Award, Kenyon College, 1996

 

On Site: New Work by Mitra Fabian

University of San Francisco, Thacher Gallery, March 17- April 16, 2014
http://www.usfca.edu/Library/thacher/Exhibition_Calendar/

Mitra Fabian – Stratagems

Hinge Modern, Culver City, CA October 19, 2013
http://hingemodern.com/#fabian

Mitra Fabian

Pro Arts, Oakland, CA May 12 – June 27, 2013
http://www.proartsgallery.org/exhibitions/2013_project_mitrafabian.php

In the Currents – a group show of Bay Area Iranian-American art today

http://kearnystreet.org/

Flatlanders on the Slant – a group show for which artists are creating a current iteration of the slant step

http://nelsongallery.ucdavis.edu/upcoming.php

REDUX: Repurposed Materials – a group show of art made of repurposed materials

http://galleries.umw.edu/exhibitions/future-exhibitions/

Solo Show - a new installation built for the gallery space at Bows and Arrows, Sacramento, CA, September 2012

http://www.bowscollective.com/gallery.html

Concentric - a solo show at Don Soker Contemporary Art, San Francisco, CA March 3 – April 16, 2012 
http://donsokergallery.
com/

The Office  - a group show with artists who examine, deconstruct, rearrange, and critique contemporary office culture.

San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, San Jose, CA March 10 – June 2, 2012 
http://www.sjica.org/
exhibitions_and_programs.html

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Reviews…

“Mitra Fabian” Art Scene, Nov 2013 (Read Review)

“Mitra Fabian: Concentric”, San Francisco Chronicle, April 2012

”Buried in Paperwork”, Sacramento Bee, April, 2011

“Sac City College 4 @ JayJay”, Square Cylinder, 2010 (Read Review)

Up Like Toast, “Mitra Fabian: Bemis artist spotlight” 2009 (Read Review)

Ruby Mag, online art magazine, Argentina, Issue #31, 2008

“Nextnew and Mitra Fabian”, Artweek, November 2007

“Materials Girl”, San Jose Metro, September 2007

“Propagation”, www.shotgunreview.com, September 2007

Spark, KQED Television, filmed artist profile, episode# 515, July 2007

“Art in Review: Special Effects”, www.sharonmizota.com, April 2007

“It’s Sprouting Hair!”, Angeleno, March 2007

“Student art explores natural and artificial surroundings”, Daily Sundial, April 2005

“Continuing & Recommended Exhibitions”, Art Scene, May 2004

Mitra Fabian

November 2013

MITRA FABIAN

“Fabian’s sculptures in “Stratagems” are hollow, pod-like forms made of poured white hydro-stone that she lightly balances on, or tethers to, a jumble of long, unpainted wooden sticks. Through slits and openings along the orb’s surfaces we catch glimpses of glitter and color inside. In her past installations, by focusing on the surprisingly transcendent quality of repurposed man-made materials the artist seemed to subtly suggest that nature’s beauty might be an inherent part of all physical form. These sculptures, however, take a different approach to an intrinsic fusion of nature and the man-made.”

Read More…
https://www.visualartsource.com/index.php?page=editorial&pcID=36&aID=1961

Square Cylinder

July 26, 2010

“Sac City College 4 @ JayJay”, Square Cylinder, 2010

“…repurposed materials convey meanings that transcend, explicate and sometimes even parody the associations we normally affix to them.

Mitra Fabian, whose work is on view in a group show of new SCC art instructors, is a good example.
Her current series, Open Ended, consists of shallow, wall-mounted boxes crammed with layers of rolled film that double back on themselves in wild, labyrinthine arabesques, calling up associations to brain matter, lava flows and cosmic dust storms. They offer viewers many access points but few exits, save the spots where ribbons of film spill from openings, as if under pressure.”

I Love Sticky Tape

Monday, 22 February 2010

MITRA FABIAN TAPE ART

These delicate tranlucent pieces are by artist Mitra Fabrian. These pieces use everyday objects such as pipes and hoses in combination with what looks like classic scotch sellotape.

I love how she painstakingly cuts up small pieces of tape in order to join them back together to form these organic shapes. The overlapping sections of tape shine through the light in a slightly less translucent effect.

Read more…
http://ilovestickytape.blogspot.com/2010/02/mitra-fabian-tape-art.html

Up Like Toast

Up Like Toast, “Mitra Fabian: Bemis artist spotlight” 2009

Working with everyday materials such as tape, glue, and recycled trash Mitra Fabian creates sculptures and installations that resemble biological growth.

“As she builds with these materials, she deconstructs them or alters them in such a way that they are not immediately recognizable. The reconstruction is in some way determined by what the material is capable of doing, but not meant to do. The new physical form is always more organic, often mimicking the appearance of tumors, magnified cells, or mold. These materials often perform as a skin – their translucency captures light and plays tricks on the eye- breathing, swaying, or slowly and quietly growing. Fabian uses exclusively manufactured materials thereby transforming the artificial, throwaway product into something seemingly natural. This serves as a commentary on the increasingly modified condition of humans, which pits nature against culture and blurs the line between organic and manufactured.”

Born in Iran and raised in Boston, Mitra Fabian now lives in San Jose, CA.

http://upliketoast.blogspot.com/2009/07/mitra-fabian-bemis-artist-spotlight.html

Ruby Mag

Online art magazine, Argentina, Issue #31,  July 2008

Go to Issue #31:

http://www.ruby-mag.com.ar/site/index.html

Stampede of Horses

My Love for you is a Stampede of Horses, art blog, US, June, 2008

mitra fabian.

normally i don’t post on contemporary sculpture, for no other reason than i don’t look for it specifically, so i rarely see work that moves me. i think the last artist i posted on who works w/in sculpture was emily barletta. so note to self, need to open up my research process a little wider. i’ll add that to the list of blog things, like get an intern, re-do the lay out and the infinity other things i have going on around this blog. no complaints!

mitra fabian’s work grabbed me the minute i saw it. the sculptures themselves are mesmerizing to look at, but when i looked closer…i was absolutely amazed w/ her medium. often just using scotch tape, paper or paper hole re-enforcers, i was really impressed w/ her diligence around these house hold mediums. not only for the sheer fact that she uses such things like scotch tape but the beauty she creates w/ them. stunning.

Read more:
http://myloveforyou.typepad.com/my_love_for_you/2008/06/mitra-fabian.html

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