Gladstone Gallery opened their fifth exhibition with Iranian-born, Soho, New York-based artist Shirin Neshat at the beginning of the year and I wish I could have had the opportunity to see it. In addition to a new three-channel video installation, the show featured the photographer's new series The Book of Kings, which explores the recent political uprisings in the Arab world via portraits of young Iranians and Arabs with ancient Persian poetry inscribed over their faces and bodies à la Neshat's iconic Women of Allah series. Neshat's socio-cultural commentary on the Middle East is one of the boldest in contemporary art, regardless of medium. As well as working on her second feature length film, which focuses on the life of Egyptian singer, Oum Kolthum, and a Qatar National Museum-commissioned video installation, she is currently readying for a major retrospective of her work, organized by the Detroit Institute of Arts and opening in April, 2013.

Image: Shirin Neshat, Roja, 2012, ink on LE gelatin silver print, framed 60.25 x 45.25 in (153 x 114.9 cm). Courtesy the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York. (c) Shirin Neshat