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Seattle Art Museum (SAM)


Photo: Elizabeth Mann



Faig Ahmed

Azerbaijani, born 1982

Although some think of carpets as interior decoration only, across the Middle East carpets have an ancient history as luxury possessions, ritual objects, major exports, and fine art. Trained as a sculptor in his native Azerbaijan, Faig Ahmed chose the knotted wool carpet as his primary medium, collaborating with a workshop of women who weave rugs in this traditional way. Creatively deconstructing and manipulating pattern and technique, Ahmed transforms regional conventions into a statement on the mutability of modernity and medium. At the top, Oiling appears to be a traditional knotted carpet, but soon its strict geometry melts, reflecting the dissolution of tradition and memory.
Hand-knotted wool
59 × 39 1/2 in. (149.9 × 100.3cm)
Margaret E. Fuller Purchase Fund
Provenance: The artist; [Leila Heller Gallery, New York]
Photo: Elizabeth Mann
Not currently on view


Exhibition HistoryNew York, New York, Leila Heller Gallery, East in Twist, June 6 - July 6, 2013.

Bellevue, Washington, Bellevue Arts Museum, Atoms + Bytes: Redefining Craft in the Digital Age, Mar. 4 - June 26, 2016. No catalogue.

Seattle, Washington, Seattle Asian Art Museum, Be/Longing: Contemporary Asian Art, Feb. 8, 2020 - ongoing [on view Feb. 8, 2020 - July 11, 2021].

Seattle Art Museum respectfully acknowledges that we are on Indigenous land, the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people. We honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future.

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