Born in Tehran, in 1972, Golnaz Fathi is an influential member of a currently thriving generation of artists to surface in Iran over the last twenty years. Whilst studying Graphic Design at Azad University, in Tehran, Fathi became fascinated by the expressive potential of traditional Persian calligraphic forms and immersed herself in a sustained six-year study of traditional calligraphy. She became one of only a tiny handful of women trained to the highest level within that discipline. At this point, Fathi made the conscious decision to fulfill her career as an artist rather than to continue within the privileged world of pure Islamic calligraphy, practiced predominantly by male calligraphers. Fathi nvestigated ever more abstract forms of representation, using modern media to aid these explorations, whilst still basing her work on fundamental calligraphic practices and techniques. The introduction of bold swatches of color further emphasised her transition from a codified system based on prescriptive rules to an alternative idiom that gave precedence to her own imaginative modes of subjective expression. Golnaz Fathi’s works are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Brighton & Hove Museum, England; Carnegie Mellon University, Doha; the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur; The Asian Civilizations Museum, Singapore; the British Museum, London; the Devi Art Foundation, New Delhi; and The Farjam Collection, Dubai.
She has exhibited in galleries and cultural centers around the world, including words into art, british museum 2006. international women artist's biennial, south korea 2009. Iran inside out, chelsea art museum,NY 2009. the elephant in the dark, devi art foundatio, newdelhi, 2012. world stories,Brighton museum 2012. writing non writing,museum of contemporary art,CAA hongzhou,china 2015. frontiers reimagined, museo di plazzo grimani, venice biennale 2015, and Art Forum of Wiesbaden, Germany. In 2011, she was named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders Honorees.