Atrium Project: Orkideh Torabi

Saturday, Jan 16, 2021 – Jan 2, 2022

220 E. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611

Orkideh Torabi (Iranian, b. 1979) continues the MCA’s Atrium Project series with Peach House’s 5 Bucks Morning Special(2020). Torabi rendered a vividly detailed bathhouse filled with characters based on men she encountered during her upbringing and visits to Iran. Inspired by traditional Persian miniature paintings, Torabi depicts the rooms of the bathhouse in a split-scene style. After transferring paint dye onto cotton fabric, Torabi dries it with an everyday hairdryer, resulting in the saturated colors in her artworks. For this exhibition, in which her work is presented at a larger scale than it has been before, Torabi’s work on cotton fabric has been transferred to vinyl.

Now based in Chicago, Torabi purposefully paints men—often with bulbous features, clown-like expressions, and exaggerated limbs—in humorous situations. Through her work, Torabi seeks to rebalance patriarchal societies using humor.

Peach House’s 5 Bucks Morning Special is organized by Bana Kattan, Pamela Alper Associate Curator, in the second-floor atrium.


Orkideh Torabi Peach House’s 5 Bucks Morning Special, 2020, Fabric dye on stretched cotton 85 × 54 in. Courtesy of the artist and Western Exhibitions, Chicago Photo: Farid Memar