Tanavoli, Parviz

Heech, 1972

Image for Heech, 1972

In his sculpture entitled Heech, Tanavoli translates Persian calligraphy into three-dimensional form. Although the Persian word heech means “nothing,” the work is not meant to express despair or emptiness. Instead, for Tanavoli, the heech might represent creativity itself—the void filled by the artist’s imagination.[1] Tanavoli was a close friend and advisor to Abby Grey, who avidly collected his work. Her generous gift of modern Asian and Middle Eastern art works to New York University, along with an endowment led to the founding of the Grey Art Gallery, which first opened its doors in 1975.

1. Paul Sloman, ed., Contemporary Art in the Middle East(London: Black Dog Publishing, 2009), 88.
Medium Bronze on wood base
Dimensions 22 1/4 x 12 x 8 in.; base:  5 x 5 x 5 in.
Credit Line Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection
Donor Gift of Abby Weed Grey
Object ID G1975.54


Collection Years: 1972