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The Alfred R. Shands III and Mary N. Shands Masters Series: Vian Sora

August 13, 2023 at 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

The Alfred R. Shands III and Mary N. Shands Masters Series

Vian Sora

Topic: Local Artist Vian Sora in conversation with Contemporary Curator Tyler Blackwell.


Note: This lecture is free for members!

About the Speaker:

Vian Sora (b. Baghdad, Iraq, 1976) received a BS from Al Mansour University in Baghdad, Iraq in 2000, and an MBA from Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky in 2012. She also studied printmaking at the Istanbul Museum of Graphic Art in Istanbul, Turkey. She lives and works in Louisville, KY, USA.

Utilizing a synthesis of styles and iconography taken from both her native, modern and ancient Iraq and adopted cultures, along with a variety of techniques, Vian Sora’s mixed media paintings embody imagery that suggests the struggle of the individual in the face of personal and social upheaval, often employing androgynous figures that transmute into expressionist abstraction.  Her work also takes inspiration from such disparate modern masters as Chaïm Soutine, Willem de Kooning, and Gerhard Richter, whose Birkenau cycle paintings the artist viewed in Berlin’s Alte Nationalgalerie. Sora’s paintings reflect the zeitgeist of the city while also expanding her vibrantly expressive color palette and distinctive visual language. Having personally experienced several wars while living in Iraq, Sora’s search for beauty is translated in her compositions through a conscious embrace of decay, resulting in bright, metaphorical “landscapes” that simultaneously signify both the turmoil and dynamics of change. Dense with ideas, the distillation of experiences, and the transmission of emotion, her atmospheric surfaces, layered with optical ambiguities that create illusions of light and movement, of time and space, allow her to express untold emotional landscapes.

Vian Sora’s work has been included in solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally including the Speed Museum, Louisville, KY; Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; Sharjah Biennale, Sharjah, UAE; Imoga Istanbul Museum of Graphic Art, Istanbul, Turkey; Japanese Foundation Culture Center, Ankara, Turkey; and the Baghdad Art International Art Festival in Iraq; as well as the KMAC Triennial, Louisville, KY; The Shands Collection, Louisville, KY; Grinnell Museum of Art, Grinnell, Iowa; Louisville Metro Hall, Louisville, KY; and U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Washington D.C., among others. Sora’s paintings are included in the collections of the Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, MD; Dar El Cid Museum, Kuwait City, Kuwait; KMAC Museum, Louisville, KY; Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, CA; Shands Collection, Louisville, KY; Speed Art Museum, Louisville, KY; Grinnell College Museum of Art, Grinnell, IA; Ministry of Culture Contemporary Collection, Baghdad, Iraq; the Pizzuti Collection, Columbus, OH; Fidelity Art Collection, Boston, MA, as well as numerous private collections.


August 13, 2023
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Event Category: