Pins and Needles · Asad Faulwell

Asad Faulwell’s mesmerizing works address the narratives of Algerian women who were captured, tortured and imprisoned while fighting with the National Liberation Front to end the French occupation of Algeria. After the women were released when the war ended in 1962, they returned to their country – only to be viewed as social outcasts and exiled. These women defy simple classification, and Faulwell depicts them independent of their surroundings as saints, warriors, criminals, aggressors and victims.

“They (Algerian men) were taking women who they had no intention of empowering after the war, getting them to fight on the front lines and then (the resistance) turning their backs on them as soon as the war was over,” Faulwell told Middle Eastern art journal, Muraqqa, in 2010.

Embedding the women’s images within elaborate patterns and color, Faulwell’s works draw influence from Middle Eastern textiles and mosaics. He recalls the traditions of Persian miniatures writ large, delicately illustrating a story while encapsulating the scene in ornamental beauty and detail. Whether painted en grisaille or depicted in hundreds of tiny, collaged photographs, Faulwell injects these women into intricate scenes and patterns, showcasing them as the focal point and finally giving them the tribute they deserve.

Faulwell, who is of Iranian descent, lives and works in Los Angeles. He received his master of fine arts from Claremont in 2008 and was a recipient of a Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant that same year. Faulwell’s work has been exhibited at KRAVETS/WEHBY Gallery in New York, the Josh Lilley Gallery, London, and Lawrie/Shabibi Gallery, Dubai.

Pins and Needles is Asad Faulwell’s first solo museum exhibition.