Ann Chahbandour received her M.F.A. in sculpture at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago, by which time she also completed an independent
study at Rhode Island School of Design. She then received a Fulbright Fellowship
to study stone carving in Italy. Chahbandour’s work has been shown extensively
in solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and abroad since 1973.
She has received numerous grants, awards and residencies and is a member
of the Sculptors Guild and the Philadelphia Sculptors.
2006 – Draper Award, Delaware Center for Contemporary Arts, De.
2005 – Visiting Artist, Wave Hill, New York, N.Y.
1988 – Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Collaborative Performance, Philadelphia, Pa.
1988 – Art Park, Artist in Residence, Lewiston, N.Y.
1985 – Yellow Springs Institute, Artist in Residence, Yellow Springs, Pa.
1982 – Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Artist Fellowship Award
1981 – Please Touch Museum, Honorarium, Philadelphia, Pa.
1980 – George and Isabel Brown Fellowship, School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Ill.
1979 – Fulbright Scholarship, Pietrasanta, Italy
1996 - Present
Philadelphia Sculptors, Philadelphia, Pa.
1990 - Present
Sculptors Guild, New York, N.Y.
1993 - Present
International Sculpture Center, Hamilton, N.J.
Curator of American Art
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Excerpts from catalog essay, The Art of Ann Chahbandour
“Her intriguing sculptures suggest the increasingly fluid boundaries that characterize
the non-hierarchical stance of contemporary art. In both form and content, Chahbandour’s
work simply resists categorization. Her influences range from decorative arts and folk art
to mythology and religion. All of this adds up to an original talent, unhindered by any
prescribed dogmas, operating for the most part outside the mainstream art world.”
“An abiding interest in narrative unites the disparate sources and influences in
Chahbandour’s work. The artist’s Catholic upbringing, which instilled in her a love
of storytelling and mystery, has been developed into a personal mythology that crosses
both aesthetic and historical boundaries.”
“Transformation seems to be at the heart of Chahbandour’s artistic practice. With animals
and other fantastical creatures as human surrogates, she creates a magical kingdom that is at
once comforting and disquieting. She resists the temptation to make these figures cute
or cloying; indeed there is an irreverent quality to many of her sculptures.
“Chahbandour’s sculpture reveals a dark humor and ironic mindset that dares one to imagine
what lies beyond the surface. It is this ability to keep the viewer guessing that ultimately captivates.”
Excerpts from review of JMS Gallery exhibition
“Superlative technique always attracts attention, and on that basis alone it’s impossible to resist Ann Chahbandour’s sculptures. Profuse detail and intricate composition serve a purpose, to animate fantastical narrative situations rich in religious allusions. “
“Mystery mixes with fantasy in most pieces, so one can’t always determine exactly what’s
going on. Yet this doesn’t matter, because Chahbandour’s sensitive balance of whimsy and darker
currents implying sin and redemption is persistently captivating.”
“One is impressed not only by the intensity of the artist’s imagination but by the ingenious way she
blends her materials and by the intricacy of her compositions. The cumulative effect is magical and,
as noted, irresistible.”
J. Susan Isaacs, Ph. D.
Professor of Art History, Towson University
Adjunct Curator, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts
Excerpts from brochure essay, Wunderkammer
“Wunderkammer: A Cabinet of Curiosities is Ann Chahbandour’s contemporary, fictionalized
recreation of an original Renaissance chamber of wonders through artwork inspired by historically
significant objects. This body of work was originally created for the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art.”
“Chahbandour, through her fascinating and witty re-creations of natural, scientific and artistic
wonders of the world, has provided the viewer with an opportunity to experience the same wonder
felt by those early pioneers of collecting.”
Chahbandour comments on the realization of her Wunderkammer. “I was drawn to the eclectic nature
of the objects displayed in traditional cabinets of curiosities. Inspiration came from the decorative arts, mythologies, religions and theaters of diverse cultures. I used a variety of materials, individually and in combination, with which to translate my ideas: stone, wood, bronze, mosaics and ceramics. Unifying all
of these disparate sources and materials is the ever present narrative which I developed for each “curiosity”.
Excerpts from review of Wunderkammer exhibition at the DCCA
Sculpture Magazine – Vol. 25 No. 9
“Ann Chahbandour’s recent exhibition Wunderkammer hovered between a traditional show of
stylistically related objects and a sculptural installation composed of discrete but connected components.
The title captured the mood of the exhibition: with the walls and the pedestals painted fiery red, the room
created an ambience of delight, mystery and danger designed to lure the visitor into a confrontation
with Chahbandour’s collection of “curiosities”.
“Enamored of all things medieval, Chahbandour extends her passion to ancient craftsmanship.
Wunder Tor looks like a medieval wooden door, with bronze hinges and other hardware conspicuously
in evidence. Visible through the keyhole is a tiny image of a woman wearing an elaborate headdress and
necklace, but otherwise bare to the waist. Hanging on the wall next to the door is a large brass key
(much too big for the keyhole), decorated with a playful monkey. The mystery woman behind the door
is a lluring but unattainable. Alice in Wonderland, meet Marcel Duchamp.”
240 South Twentieth Street
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