Nicholas Baum: Siah Armajani is an artist who was born in Iran, came to the U.S. to study philosophy, and became an artist with a great affinity for language, for ideas. Follow This Line is a major retrospective of Siah’s work at The Met Breuer, and it’s a spectacular show that charts his career. He’s taken these very ubiquitous, everyday forms, like a bridge, like a house, and used those as a kind of artistic language that allows us to think differently about what they mean.
When I learned that the Walker Art Center and The Metropolitan Museum of Art were collaborating on a retrospective, I immediately thought that it would be wonderful to take the opportunity to realize one of his public pieces because public art is so central to his entire career. Siah’s work is based on the principle that art should be open and accessible to a general audience. But it also in doing so allows the artist himself to be a citizen, to participate in our democracy.