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Fatemeh Burnes

b. Tehran, Iran


I am interested in problem-solving, not solving problems. An ingrained impulse to discover, explore, and invent drives my creative process. The science of art-making fascinates me. I make art not just to produce objects, but also to explore phenomena, whether they occur in the world or in my dreams, as thoughts in my mind or as rocks on the ground.

I am preoccupied by nature, the nature around us and within us, the history we have made and the one we make, a history that is defined not by time, but by energy -- as is nature, and as is art.


My artworks, in all media, offer complex levels of comprehension and aim to provoke a multiplicity of responses. I resist at every turn our tendency to simplify the world by categorizing it into kinds of things, or kinds of art. There are no categories for me, only experiences. 

I employ a wide variety of pictorial media. Regardless, I continually work through a process of retaining knowledge and information, producing layers of content spontaneously and then carefully finding the connections between those layers.

In my painting I avoid conscious intention, and instead favor subconscious association. I develop my compositional elements by extracting, articulating, and re-inventing images generated in my initial approach.  I freely combine media and modalities – carving, miniature painting, gestural abstraction, etc. – but distinguish between experimenting with process and exploring its limits. For example, working with acid and pigments on different metal surfaces satisfies my need for playful experiment. By contrast, combining different traditional practices and maintaining respect for archival methods reflects my academic training and deep investment in the history of art.

Although my photography also falls into various categories of subject matter and process, I do not photograph with those distinctions in mind. I work with several different sorts of subject matter, some rather obsessively, and I look for parallels between my subjects, regardless of geographical or climatic difference. I shoot straightforward pastoral scenes – beaches, fields of flowers – and also walk through minefields in the former East Germany to capture the subtle tension of a once-tumultuous landscape. I don’t seek to document places or events with my photography, but I am very interested in light and movement, in the drama of the moment. 


Post graduate studies in Exhibition Design, California State University, Fullerton and California State University, Long Beach 1992 - 1994

M.F.A. Drawing, Painting, and Printmaking, California State University, Fullerton, 1986

B.A. Drawing and Painting, California State University, Fullerton, 1984

Private studies in Florence and Paris, 1973 - 1977

Kamalolmolk School of Art, Tehran, Iran



Ten Year Survey, Riverside Community College, curated by Leslie Brown



Capriccio, High Noon Gallery, New York, NY


Imprints of Nature and Human Nature, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA                      

Interstices, The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA



Observing Nature, curated by Scott Canty, Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA



Canyon Series II, Womens Opportunity Center, University of California, Irvine, CA



Canyon Series, Maturango Museum, Ridgecrest, CA



M.F.A. Exhibition, California State University, Fullerton



Lazy Susan V/Human Nature, LAVA Projects: 2417 W. Valley Blvd., Alhambra, CA

Can’t See the Forest for the Trees, Manhattan Beach Cultural Art Center, Manhattan Beach, CA

​The Painted Desert, Part II, High Noon Gallery, New York, CA


Artists on the Bridge, Photo LA, Los Angeles, CA

Confabulating, Mt. San Antonio Gardens, Claremont, CA

Trans-Angeles, Museum Wilhelm Morgner, Aschaffenburg, Germany

Synergy, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA



Palm Springs Fine Art Fair: Post-War and Contemporary Art, Lam Gallery, Palm Springs Convention Center, Palm Springs, CA

Art 4 Trevor, Benefiting the Trevor Project, Lam Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Collaboration, Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA

Trans-Angeles (Fatemeh Burnes, Cosimo Cavallaro, Kubo, Katsuhisa Sakai), Museum Wilhelm Morgner, Aschaffenburg, Germany

Trans-Angeles: Crossover Experimentation, Chabot Museum, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

The Language of Perpetual Conditions, California State University Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Abstract Never Is, ViCA & Muzuemm, Venice, CA

Photo LA, Los Angeles, CA



How Many Miles to Babylon: Recent Paintings from Los Angeles and New York, curated by Peter Frank, C24 Gallery, New York, NY

Water Works, curated by Juri Koll, Museum of Art and Hitory Cedar, Lancaster, CA

Visualizations in Art and Science, South Bay Contemporary, San Pedro, CA

Water Works II, curated by Juri Koll, The Loft at Liz's, Los Angeles, CA

Curate This, The Gabba Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Flock, Gayna Walska Lotusland, Santa Barbara, CA



Transforming Feminism, South Bay Contemporary, San Pedro, CA

Trans-Angeles, curated by Peter Frank, Wilhelm-Morgner-Haus museum, Soest, Germany

Water Works, curated by Juri Koll, Porch Gallery, Ojai, CA

Rewilding, Manhattan Beach Creative Arts Center, Manhattan Beach, CA



Urban Asia and the Evolution of ZERO+ Publishing, Offramp Gallery, Pasadena, CA

Dangerous Beauties, curated by John O'Brien, Sturt Haaga Gallery, La Canada Flintridge, CA

Guides, dA Center for the Arts, Pomona, CA

Flux/Quirk, The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA



Un-Natural, curated by Scott Canty, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

Didactic, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA The George Gallery, Laguna Beach, CA



Transition: In Memory of Richard Raynard, Mt. San Antonio College, Walnut, CA 

Text and Texture, curated by Peter Frank, Fresh Paint Art Advisors, Culver City, CA

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