"The black square is a protest against knowing." Houshiary discusses how she wants art to have an ambiguity, to make you think and question, not just to show and tell



At first glance, Houshiary’s Veil 1999, is a square, black painting. but as we see in this video, Houshiary’s work on canvas is built up through layers of pigment and geometric markmaking. Born in Iran, Shirazeh Houshiary has lived and worked in England since 1973, and her work has consistently drawn on Islamic traditions, particularly on Sufi mysticism. Here she discusses other works made at a similar time, and returns to themes of light and darkness,  visual perception and judgement, explaining: “I’m trying to explore how we see the world”.