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Photo of Ottessa Moshfegh by Jessica Lehrman. Photo of Tala Madani by Jersey Walz.

Photo of Ottessa Moshfegh by Jessica Lehrman. Photo of Tala Madani by Jersey Walz

Tala Madani and Ottessa Moshfegh in Conversation


Join Ottessa Moshfegh, celebrated author of Lapvona (2022) and My Year of Rest and Relaxation (2018), and artist Tala Madani in the galleries of Tala Madani: Biscuits, her first North American survey, as they engage in a wide-ranging conversation about pushing boundaries, dark comedy, abject subject matter, and the creative process.

Tala Madani (b. 1981, Tehran, Iran, lives and works in Los Angeles) makes paintings and animations whose indelible images bring together wide-ranging modes of critique, prompting reflections on gender, idealistic notions of childhood and family, political authority, and who and what gets represented in the art historical canon. In Madani’s work, slapstick humor is inseparable from violence and creation is synonymous with destruction, revealing a complex vision of contemporary power imbalances of all kinds. Her work is held in the collections of major museums worldwide and has been the subject of numerous solo and group exhibitions, including recent solo exhibitions at KM21, The Hague, Netherlands (2022), and Start Museum, Shanghai (2020). Madani earned a BFA from Oregon State University in 2004 and an MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2006. She was awarded the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s James Dicke Contemporary Artist Prize in 2020.

Ottessa Moshfegh is a novelist and screenwriter from New England. Eileen, her first novel, was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Man Booker Prize, and won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction. My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Death in Her Hands, and Lapvona, her next three novels, were New York Times bestsellers. She is also the author of the short story collection Homesick for Another World and a novella, McGlue. She lives in Pasadena.

Tala Madani: Biscuits is organized by Rebecca Lowery, Associate Curator, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Ali Subotnick, Guest Curator through the MOCA Ahmanson Curatorial Fellowship, with Paula Kroll, Curatorial Assistant, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

Admission to Tala Madani: Biscuits is free courtesy of Carolyn Clark Powers.

Lead support is provided by The Aileen Getty Foundation and The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Major support is provided by the Ahmanson Foundation through the Ahmanson Curatorial Fellowship and 

Additional support is provided by Pasadena Art Alliance and Visionary Women.

Catalogue support is provided by 303 Gallery, New York; Pilar Corrias; David Kordansky Gallery; The Katherine S. Marmor Award; and The Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation.

Exhibitions at MOCA are supported by the MOCA Fund for Exhibitions with generous funding provided by Earl and Shirley Greif Foundation.

The Cultural Partner for this exhibition is

This exhibition is carbon calculated. The museum reduced greenhouse gas emissions through planning efforts and balanced the remaining emissions through Strategic Climate Fund donations. Support provided by the MOCA Environmental Council.