Laleh Motlagh (b. Tabriz, Iran) is a Chicago-based artist and educator. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in the U.S., Mexico, Germany, Italy, and Iran. She was the 2022-23 BOLT resident at Chicago Artist Coalition. She was previously artist-in-residence at Nature, Art, and Habitat Residency (Taleggio Valley, Italy), Kunsthalle Bellow (Techentin, Germany), Institut für Alles Mögliche (Berlin, Germany), and House of Nature (Wald, Germany). She received her MFA from the University of Illinois Chicago in 2021.
As an Iranian Azerbaijanis-American woman, Laleh Motlagh explores concepts of love, intimacy, spirituality, trust, and resilience while remaining present to her own localities. Based in Chicago, Motlagh challenges socio-cultural alienation and interrogates the complexities of multicultural identity. Often collaborative with non-humans, Motlagh’s work includes drawing, painting, performance, video, and installation that questions both the boundaries between human and natural life, the admissible and the taboo, as well as the geopolitical overtones found so prevalently in the discourse of border zones and notions of belonging.
Image: Fearless Love, 2021. Still from a 60:00 minutes performance.