Home/Artists/Yari Ostovany

The Oracle II

Size/91 x 107 cm

Rumi and Shams

Size/102 x 152 cm

Night Pilgrim 3

Size/76 x 102 cm

All Those Born With Wings II

Size/76 x 91 cm

Yari Ostovany

Birth Year

Country of birth

Country of residence




Artist’s Story

Born in Iran in 1962, Yari Ostovany moved to the United States at the age of 16 and pursued his studies in Art first at the University of Nevada - Reno and then at the San Francisco Art institute where he received his MFA in 1995 / He has has exhibited extensively in the United States and internationally, and is the recipient of Sierra Arts Endowment Grant, Craig Sheppard Memorial Grant and Sierra Nevada Arts Foundation Grant / Recent solo exhibitions include The Yard: Columbus Circle in New York, Stanford Art Spaces at Stanford University, Far Out Gallery in San Francisco, Rebecca Molayem Gallery in Los Angeles and Aria Gallery in Tehran, Iran /

His work is in the permanent collections of institutions including the New Britain Museum of American Art (New Britain, Connecticut), Pasargad Bank Museum (Tehran, Iran), Chateau d'Orquevaux (Champagne-Ardenne, France), Permanent Collection of the University of Nevada - Reno Art Department and is represented by Foundation Behram Bakhtiar in France, Artscoops in Lebanon, Art Represent, EMERGEAST, and Ideel Art in London UK.

Full CV

Professional History

Solo Exhibitions

2020 Sandy Bennett Art Gallery, Englewood, NJ

2018 Far Out Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018 The Living Room Gallery (Saint Peter's Church), New York, NY

2018 Rebecca Molayem Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2017 Aria Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2017 Ruby Living Design, Mill Valley, CA

2016 Ligne Roset, San Francisco, CA

2016 B&B&Co Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

2016 Mill Valley Arts Commission, Mill Valley, CA

2015 Aria Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2015 Stanford Art Spaces, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

2014 Vorres Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2014 Red Mountain Gallery, TMCC , Reno, NV

2014 The Shed Contemporary, Dana Point, CA 

2014 LA Artcore, Los Angeles, CA

2013 Market Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA 

2013Ligne Roset, San Francisco, CA

2012 Art People Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2011 Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CA 

2010 Queen Gallery, Toronto, Canada 

2009 San Jose City College Art Gallery, San Jose, CA 

2007 Northwest Reno Library, Reno, NV

2003 Art Corner Gallery, Cologne, Germany

2002 Bochum Kulturrat (City of Bochum Cultural Center), Germany

1998 Hourian Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1997 Other Art Gallery, Southern Oregon State College, Ashland, OR

1994 Footwork Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1989 Walter McNamara (SxN) Gallery, Reno, NV

1988 Manville Gallery, Reno, NV

Two Person Exhibitions

2019 The Yard, New York, NY
2016 Madrigal Family Winery Gallery, Sausalito, CA

2015 MiM Gallery, Los Angeles, CA 

2014 Courthouse Gallery, Lake George Arts Project, Lake George, NY

2013 Haleh Gallery, Berg am Starnberger See, Germany

Group Exhibitions

2019 Boccara ART, Brooklyn, New York, NY

2019 The Greenpoint Gallery, Brooklyn, New York, NY

2018 Pensacola Museum of Art, Pensacola, FL

2018 Misho Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2018 Saye Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran

2018 Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA
 2017 Kamil Art Gallery, Monaco-Ville, Monaco

2017 GearBox Gallery, Oakland, CA

2017 Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA

2017 Museum Parc, San Francisco, CA

2017 Misho Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016 Galerie Art Eterne, New Delhi, India

2016 Cabrillo Gallery, Aptos, CA

2016 Foundry Art Centre, Saint Charles, Missouri

2016 Hud Gallery, Ventura, CA

2016 Seyhoun Gallery, West Hollywood, CA

2016 Leila Heller Gallery, New York, NY

2016 Buckham Gallery, Flint, MI

2016 Vorres Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2016 Sebastopol Center for the Arts, Sebastopol, CA

2015 LA Artcore, Los Angeles, CA

2015 Maryland Federation of Art - Circle Gallery, Annapolis, MD

2015 Aljira, a Center for Contemporary Art, Newark, NJ

2015 Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY

2015 Frank Juarez Gallery, Sheboygan, WI

2015 Main Street Arts, Clifton Springs, New York

2015 Limner Gallery, Hudson, NY

2015 Niavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, Iran

2015 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2014 The Invisible Line Gallery, London, UK

2014 Verum Ultimum Art Gallery, Portland, OR

2014 Arta Gallery, Toronto, Canada

2014 Shirin Gallery NY, New York, NY

2014 The SHED Contemporary, Dana Point, CA

2014 Pro Arts Gallery, Oakland, CA

2014 ABRA Gallery, Westlake Village, CA

2014 Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY

2014 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

2013 Selby Gallery, Ringling College of Art and Design, Sarasota, FL

2013 Vorres Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2013 1337 Gallery, San Rafael, CA

2013 Thomas & Paul Gallery, London, UK

2012 Misho Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2012 Orange County Center For Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA

2012 Estense Castle Museum, Ferrara, Italy

2011 ArtPeople Gallery, San Francisco, CA

2011 Arts West Gallery, Elon, North Carolina

2010 Gallery 133, Toronto, Canada

2009 California State University, Fullerton Grand Central Art Center

2009 Vision Gallery, Chandler, Arizona 

2008 Galleria Lallihome, Varenna, Italy

2007 la Giornata del Contemporaneo, Camaver Kunsthaus, Lecco, Italy

2007 Sierra Arts Gallery, Reno, NV

2006 Sheppard Contemporary, Reno, NV

2003 HotHouse Center for Performance & Exhibition, Chicago, IL

2002 Mojaveri Gallery, Cologne, Germany

2001 Kunsthof Merten, Merten, Germany

2000 Köln Galerie, Cologne, Germany

2000 Aria Gallery, Tehran, Iran

1999 Ovissi Gallery, Emeryville, CA

1999 Niavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, Iran

1999 WORKS Gallery, San Jose, CA

1999 Eklektikos Gallery, Washington, DC

1997 Evolving Perceptions, National Press Club, Washington, DC

1997 San Jose City College, San Jose, CA

1997 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley, CA

1996 Korean Cultural Center, Los Angeles, CA

1995 Monterey Peninsula College, Monterey, CA

1994 Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CA

1994 Walter/McBean Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CA

1993 Terrain Gallery, San Francisco, CA

1993 Walter/McBean Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, CA

1992 San Francisco Art Institute Spring Exhibition, CA

1991 Dow & Frosini Gallery, Berkeley, CA

1990 E. L. Wiegand Museum of Art, Reno, NV


Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas, NV
 Ackerman Center, University of California, Los Angeles, CA
 Nevada State Council on the Arts, Reno, NV
 Walter McNamara (SxN) Gallery, Reno, NV
 Sierra Nevada Museum of Art, Reno, NV

San Francisco Art Institute, Painting
 San Francisco Art Institute, Painting 1992 

Awards & Grants

2007 Sierra Arts Endowment Grant

1993 Annual San Francisco Art Institute Student Exhibition

1989, 1988 Craig Sheppard Memorial Art Scholarship
 1988 Home Federal Bank Art Competition, Reno, Nevada 

1988 Sierra Nevada Arts Foundation Grant, Reno, Nevada 

1988, 1987, 1986Annual University of Nevada - Reno Student Art Exhibition 

Artist in Residence

2018 Chateau Orquevaux, Orquevaux, France


New Britain Museum of American Art, New Britain, Connecticut
 Pasargad Bank Museum, Tehran, Iran
 Permanent Collection of the University of Nevada - Reno Art Department and
various private collections in the U.S. and abroad

Teaching Experience 

2005/08 Adjunct Faculty, University of Nevada - Reno Art Department, Reno, Nevada 

1993/92 Assistant Instructor, Painting & Drawing, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, California

Artist Statement

My work is process based and improvisational, straddling the nebulous realm between the mystical and the mysterious and thus, to me, the spiritual. A personal journey of exploration through the alchemy of paint, colour, light, texture and the poetics of space.

I am interested in the crossing point of the unconscious, the personal and the collective, and energies that come to surface from the interplay of primordial contradictory forces—those within and without—on the surface of the painting. An unfolding evolutionary process through densely layered organic compositions made over time with layers upon layers of thick and thin washes and glazes, luminous and opaque. Often starting with calligraphic gestural marks, solid forms which then dissolve as the layers explode and implode, are added, rubbed out, re—applied, scoured into and scraped away. Going back and forth until another dimension—a sense of resonance— arises, when the whole becomes greater than the sum of its parts, where forms and marks become metaphors for a transcendent reality.

My work also has to do with the dichotomy of light and gravity and the search for, and intimation of Lux Æterna, self-generating light rather than one coming from an external source, implying the idea of spiritual energy other than the optical reality we see.

I approach painting as the visual evidence of, and not a report on, an experience; not a representation of spiritual energy but a translation of it into light and texture, navigating the space between stasis and movement, between emergence and disappearance.

Series Statement

Conference of the Birds
Conference of the Birds series is a deeply personal response to the Sufi fable by the same name by Farideddin Attar, 12th century Persian mystic. Attar’s verse focuses on a flock of birds who, In time of chaos and darkness, decide they are In need of a King – Thus begins their quest for the Phoenix (Simorgh) – an allegorical visit to seven valleys. After enduring Increasing hardships, doubt and exhaustion set It and more and more birds give up the quest.

In a play on the Persian word Simorgh (Phoenix) they end up with Si-Morgh (thirty birds) realizing that the Phoenix Is nothing more than those birds themselves who persevered and endured the path through Self-sacrifice and steadfastness.

Chelleneshin is a compound word in Persian consisting of the words Chelleh; which describes a period of forty days; and Neshin, which literally means sitting.

It refers to a seeker going into solitude for a period of forty days and forty nights to pray and meditate. In several mystical traditions, The cycle of Forty is a common duration needed for spiritual metamorphosis and transitions to another, transcendent dimension.