Layers of Abstraction Homayoun Salimi, Hadi Jamali, Reza Khodadadi

Forms Out of Chaos and Patterns

Abstract painting in Iran started with a wave of influences from western art. Yet a forerunner of this phenomenon can be traced back to the art of ancient Iran through various patterns and illustrative techniques.

Abstract art that is a product of modern Iranian art has had fewer tendencies towards geometric shapes and has dealt more with landscapes and the lyrical and narrative aspects of their components. The first modern Iranian abstract paintings had forms free of experimental sentiments as well as color and compositional limitations. We can observe this in the works of artists such as Mohsen Vaziri Moghadam, Masoumeh Seyhoun, Behjat Sadr and later on Farideh Lashai and Shirin Ehtehadieh and others. In this same vein the endeavor towards self-integration of western influences can be observed in the works of Hossein Kazemi, Marco Gregorian, Sohrab Sepehri, Mansour Ghandriz, Hossein Zenderoudi, Massoud Arabshahi, Monir Farmanfarmayan, Mansoure Hosseini, Ebrahim Jaffari, Gholam-Hoddein Nami, Mehdi Hosseini, Homayun Salimi and others. The use of calligraphy and Iranian patterns is considered a more important movement in Iranian abstract art which is still prevalent in the works of different generations. This trend is visible in Iranian handicrafts and textiles as well as in Calligraphy and “Siyah Mashgh” (notebooks filled with calligraphic lettering exercises). The use of varied media other than paint takes off in the 1950s. Adobe and clay, mirrors and cement, and other such materials are examples that allude to Iran and are found naturally in the surrounding region as well as in traditional architecture.

Yet it must be stressed that due to a lack of an existing visual literacy throughout the general public, abstract art was misinterpreted for three decades and wasn’t recognized until the 1980s and 1990s. Abstract-expressionistic paintings have been especially successful in building up an audience due to their aesthetic and decorative qualities and this success has been boosted by the inauguration of foreign art auctions. In recent years the number of exhibitions featuring abstract paintings has increased even though this style of painting has ceased to be considered progressive. The fact is that new accents in abstract paintings have started up (New Abstract) which has yet to be recognized fully by galleries and gallery goers. The new age of JPEGs and social networks has intensified the experiences of modern art, and calls for a brand new policy in abstract art.

Behnam Kamrani

Date of Exhibition
Starts: May 22, 2015
Ends: July 3, 2015

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