Ani Afshar’s weavings and related works in fiber encompass a wide range of intellectual, contextual and emotional concerns. The artist holds a deep respect for tribal weavings of her native Turkey and, more broadly, the modern folk and ancient courtly textile traditions of the Near East. She does not imitate or merely copy the outward appearances of such weavings, but instead she imbues her own highly individual work— whether wool hangings, shawls, bed spreads, pillows or beaded and woven jewelry— with her deep felt understanding and appreciation of aesthetic principles operative in this rich age old textile heritage. The artist is, as well, European educated and responsive to the modern art of Europe, America and Chicago, where she has lived for over a decade. Her works are an inextricable blending of all these diverse cultural experiences, and it is at once avant-garde and traditional and evinces an identifiable originality founded in the artist’s own personal vision, taste and sense of propriety.
Richard Born, Curator – Smart Museum, 1987