Art in America March 29, 2010
Chicago-based Armita Raafat performs an archeology of memory in evocative mixed-medium installations that draw on architectural motifs from Iran, the country of her familial roots. Born in Chicago, she moved with her family to Iran in 1980 when she was four, then returned to the U.S. in 2003. The Iran-Iraq War, which she witnessed while growing up, serves as an important backdrop to the artist’s multilayered works, in which personal and collective memory intertwine. Situated in the back gallery of threewalls’s newly expanded space were large wall reliefs and two sculptural pieces evoking severed columns, which together functioned as an integrated whole suggesting a mosque interior in a state of disrepair or damage.