Roshanak Aminelahi is an Iranian artist who primarily works in painting and illustration. Aminelahi initially trained in graphic design at Alzahra University (1995) and Azad University (2000) in Tehran, and later pursued a graduate degree in illustration at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, California. In Iran, she studied under influential artists Hannibal Alkhas and Reza Derakshani, among others.


Aminelahi’s expressionist paintings range from abstraction to figuration, and often use allegory and symbolism to address urgent themes, such as the subject of war or social conflict. Ancient Persian mythology, particularly the Shahnameh, has been central to her recent works, which are executed with heavy layers of paint and thick brush marks that create textured, multidimensional imagery. Aminelahi’s tactile surfaces recall the sculptural approach to painting that was pioneered by twentieth-century San Francisco Bay Area painters like Jay DeFeo, while her pointillist works on paper are reminiscent of the mosaic tile work that can be found throughout the Islamic architecture of Iran.


Aminelahi has widely exhibited at art spaces and institutions in Iran, including Azad Art Gallery and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts, and was an Associate Professor at Azad University prior to settling in Dubai. In addition to her career in painting, she has worked as a graphic designer and art director for over two decades.