Yari Ostovany

Iran (islamic Republic Of) 1962

Abstract Art


Yari Ostovany
Yari Ostovany
Iran (islamic Republic Of)
November 8, 2015
Art somehow explains a lot that's happening in the world right now. Feel free to contact me at nikola.milosevic777@gmail.com

Known for his richly textured, layered color field paintings that explore processes of metamorphosis, Yari Ostovany is an Iranian-born American contemporary abstract artist. Interested in the crossing point of the unconscious, the personal and the collective, he absorbs and projects onto the surface of the painting the energies that come to surface from the interplay of primordial contradictory forces – those within and without. Through densely layered organic compositions made over time with layers upon layers of thick and thin washes and glazes, luminous and opaque, the artist unfolds an evolutionary process. The work isn’t complete until a sense of resonance arises – when the whole finally becomes greater than the sum of its parts, when forms and marks become metaphors for a transcendent reality.

Yari Ostovany conference of the home birds at center is an oil on canvas work
Yari Ostovany – Numinous No. 28, 2016 (Left) / Numinous No. 32 (for Gurdjieff), 2016 (Right)

Art of Yari Ostovany – Technique and Approach

“I approach painting as the visual evidence of, and not a report on, an experience; not a representation of spiritual energy but a translation of it into light and texture, navigating the space between stasis and movement, between emergence and disappearance. My work is process based and improvisational, straddling the nebulous realm between the mystical and the mysterious and thus, to me, the spiritual. A personal journey of exploration through the alchemy of paint, color, light, texture and the poetics of space.”[1] Ostrovany’s oil on canvas works unfold over time, with each new layer of pigment, and with the processes of washing out, covering up, scraping away, and dissolving. The composition becomes deeper and more luminous with each new phase in the process. A series of calligraphic gestural marks often marks the birth of a painting, as the artist moves on to rub and dilute the marks, allowing them to meld together with previous marks and layers, coaxing new dimensions of color and texture. The transient nature of the layers becomes embedded into the visual language of the work, evoking a sense of movement and transcendence.

In his statement, Yari Ostovany characterized painting as a personal journey of exploration through the alchemy of paint, color, light, texture and the poetics of space

Yari Ostovany gallery privacy policy included oil on canvas birds and chelleneshin works
Yari Ostovany – Fragments of Poetry and Silence No. 37 (for Mark Morris), 2015 (Left) / Fragments of Poetry and Silence No. 42, 2015 (Right)

Notable Series and Inspirations

Influenced by a variety of different cultures, Ostovany feels a connection to multiple separate and yet complementary mystical traditions. He seeks to unravel natural and mystical processes as he looks toward elements of Western and Eastern art, literature, spirituality, poetry and music to create an environment and a mindset conducive to his process, which is connected to Abstract Expressionism and Color Field painting. Known for working in series, each of them “has its origin in a cognitive/emotional spark, an experience used as a point of departure, where gestural outbursts, atmospheric passages and the ethereal coalesce, with a blending of intellection and intuition, to perhaps bring together unfinished inventories of fragments and detritus of states of formation – the liminal states.”[2]

Chellehneshin is a compound word in Persian consisting of the words Chelleh; which describes a period of forty days; and Neshin, which literally means sitting. It refers to a seeker going into solitude for a period of forty days and forty nights to pray and meditate. In several mystical traditions, The cycle of forty is a common duration needed for the metamorphosis of the spirit and transition to another, transcendent dimension. The paintings from Fragments of Poetry and Silence series are inspired by Dream, a poem by John Berger. Numinous is inspired by the meaning of the word itself – translated from Latin, it means evincing the presence of a deity; Filled with or characterized by a sense of a spiritual presence.

Both Western and Eastern art grab the artist’s attention and inspire him

Yari Ostovany held a press conference on his terms at gallery center
Yari Ostovany – Chellehneshin 8, 2011 (Left) / Chellehneshin 21, 2014 (Right)


Born in Iran in 1962, Ostrovany moved to the United States at the age of 16, just several months before the revolution. He first pursued his artistic interests by studying at the University of Nevada – Reno before receiving his MFA in 1995 from the San Francisco Art institute. He was based in Cologne from 2000-2004, and since 2011 has been residing in the San Francisco Bay Area again. The painter has worked, taught, traveled and exhibited extensively in the USA and internationally, and is the recipient of several grants: Sierra Arts Endowment Grant, Craig Sheppard Memorial Grant, and Sierra Nevada Arts Foundation Grant.

He is represented by IdeelArt.

Yari Ostovany lives and works in New York City.


  1. Ostovany Y., Artist Statement, yariostovany.com [November 7,2016]
  2. Ibid.

Featured image: Yari Ostovany – portrait of the artist – photo credits DeWitt Cheng, image via huffingtonpost.com
All other images courtesy of the artist

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2017Yari OstovanyAria Gallery, Tehran, IranSolo
2016Yari OstovanyLigne Roset, San Francisco, CA Solo
2016Yari OstovanyB&B&Co Gallery, Los Angeles, CASolo
2016Yari OstovanyMill Valley Arts Commission , Mill Valley, CASolo
2016UnknownMadrigal Family Winery Gallery, Sausalito, CAGroup
2016UnknownCabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CAGroup
2016UnknownFoundry Art Centre, Saint Charles, MissouriGroup
2016UnknownHud Gallery, Ventura, CAGroup
2016UnknownBerkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CAGroup
2016UnknownSeyhoun Gallery, West Hollywood, CAGroup
2016UnknownBuckham Gallery, Flint, MIGroup
2016UnknownLeila Heller Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2016UnknownVorres Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2016UnknownSebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CAGroup
2016UnknownR. Blitzer Gallery, Santa Cruz, CAGroup
2016UnknownAria Gallery, Tehran, IranGroup
2015Yari OstovanyAria Gallery, Tehran, IranSolo
2015Yari OstovanyStanford Art Spaces, Stanford University, Stanford, CASolo
2015UnknownMiM Gallery, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2015UnknownMain Street Arts, Clifton Springs, New YorkGroup
2015UnknownNiavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, IranGroup
2015UnknownLA Artcore, Los Angeles, CAGroup
2015UnknownBerkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CAGroup
2015UnknownMaryland Federation of Art - Circle Gallery, Annapolis, MDGroup
2015UnknownAljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJGroup
2015UnknownLuhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2015UnknownLimner Gallery, Hudson, NYGroup
2015UnknownFrank Juarez Gallery, Sheboygan, WIGroup
2014Yari OstovanyVorres Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2014Yari OstovanyRed Mountain Gallery, TMCC , Reno, NV Solo
2014Yari OstovanyThe Shed Contemporary, Dana Point, CA Solo
2014Yari OstovanyLA Artcore, Los Angeles, CASolo
2014UnknownCourthouse Gallery, Lake George Arts Project, Lake George, NYGroup
2014UnknownThe Invisible Line Gallery, London, UK Group
2014UnknownVerum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, ORGroup
2014UnknownSanchez Art Center, Pacifica, CAGroup
2014UnknownArta Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2014UnknownShirin Gallery NY, New York, NYGroup
2014UnknownThomas & Paul Gallery, London, UKGroup
2014UnknownThe SHED Contemporary, Dana Point, CAGroup
2014UnknownPro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CAGroup
2014UnknownABRA Gallery, Westlake Village, CA Group
2014UnknownZiya Art Center​, Berkeley, CA Group
2014UnknownLuhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2013Yari OstovanyLigne Roset, San Francisco, CASolo
2013Yari OstovanyMarket Street Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2013UnknownHaleh Gallery, Berg am Starnberger See, GermanyGroup
2013UnknownTomas & Paul Gallery, London,UKGroup
2013UnknownVorres Gallery, San Francisco, CA Group
2013Unknown1337 Gallery, San Rafael, CAGroup
2013UnknownSelby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FLGroup
2012Yari OstovanyArt People Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2012UnknownMisho Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2012UnknownBerkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CAGroup
2012UnknownEstense Castle Museum, Ferrara, ItalyGroup
2012UnknownOrange County Center For Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA Group
2011Yari OstovanyInstitute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CASolo
2011UnknownArtPeople Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
2011UnknownArts West Gallery, Elon, North CarolinaGroup
2011UnknownUS Embassy, Dushanbe, Tajikistan Group
2011UnknownQueen Gallery, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2010Yari OstovanyQueen Gallery, Toronto, CanadaSolo
2010UnknownGallery 133, Toronto, CanadaGroup
2009Yari OstovanySan Jose City College Art Gallery, San Jose, CASolo
2009UnknownCalifornia State University, Fullerton Grand Central Art CenterGroup
2009UnknownVision Gallery, Chandler, ArizonaGroup
2008UnknownGalleria Lallihome, Varenna, ItalyGroup
2007Yari OstovanyNorthwest Reno Library, Reno, NVSolo
2007Unknownla Giornata del Contemporaneo (Camaver Kunsthaus), Lecco, ItalyGroup
2007UnknownSierra Arts Gallery, Reno, NVGroup
2007UnknownCesi Palace, Acquasparta, Umbría, ItalyGroup
2007UnknownCatherine Bouwer Gallery, Reno, NVGroup
2006UnknownSheppard Fine Arts Gallery, Reno, NVGroup
2003Yari OstovanyArt Corner Gallery, Cologne, GermanySolo
2003UnknownHotHouse Center for Performance & Exhibition, Chicago, ILGroup
2002Yari OstovanyBochum Kulturrat (City of Bochum Cultural Center), GermanySolo
2002Yari OstovanyShambhala Buddhist Meditation Center, Cologne, GermanySolo
2002UnknownMojaveri Gallery, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2001UnknownKunsthof Merten, Merten, GermanyGroup
2000UnknownKöln Galerie, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2000UnknownAria Gallery, Tehran, IranGroup
1999UnknownOvissi Gallery, Emeryville, CAGroup
1999UnknownNiavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, IranGroup
1999UnknownWORKS Gallery, San Jose, CAGroup
1999UnknownEklektikos Gallery, Washington, DCGroup
1998Yari OstovanyHourian Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
1998Mehregan festivalIrvine, CAGroup
1997Yari OstovanyOther Art Gallery, Southern Oregon State College, Ashland, ORSolo
1997Evolving PerceptionsNational Press Club, Washington, DCGroup
1997UnknownSan Jose City College, San Jose, CAGroup
1997UnknownBerkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CAGroup
1996UnknownKorean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1995UnknownMonterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CAGroup
1994Yari OstovanyFootwork Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
1994UnknownDiego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CAGroup
1994UnknownWalter-McBean Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CAGroup
1993UnknownTerrain Gallery, San Francisco, CAGroup
1993UnknownWalter-McBean Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CAGroup
1991UnknownDow & Frosini Gallery, Berkeley, CAGroup
1990UnknownE. L. Wiegand Museum of Art, Reno, NVGroup
1989UnknownNevada State Museum, Las Vegas, NVGroup
1988Yari OstovanyManville Gallery, Reno, NVSolo
1988UnknownAckerman Center, University of California, Los Angeles, CAGroup
1988UnknownNevada State Council on the Arts, Reno, NVGroup
1987Yari OstovanyWalter McNamara (SxN) Gallery, Reno, NVSolo
1987UnknownWalter McNamara (SxN) Gallery, Reno, NVGroup
1986UnknownSierra Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NVGroup