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Dastan is pleased to announce its second participation at Contemporary Istanbul with a solo presentation of recent works by Shahriar Ahmadi. The works presented in CI 2016 include “Tree of Seven” from “Good Soil” series, two works from “1001 Nights” series, and a triptych from “The Ark of Salvation” series.

 

Shahriar Ahmadi (b. 1979, Kamiyaran, Iran) is one of the most unique and important Iranian artists of his generation. His work has been featured in 15 solo exhibitions in Iran, the UAE and Switzerland, tens of group shows, art fairs, the Venice Biennale in 2015, and placed in numerous collections.

 

Shahriar Ahmadi’s works are both rich in technique and content, making them both authentic and original. He has collected a vast library through his years of reading and research, compiling resources for his artistic muses. Ahmadi’s works often carry in themselves deep allusions to Persian myths, classical literature, mysticism, and religious stories, exploring many subjects as the artist wanders. Additionally, his signature improvisatory techniques and vibrant palette create engulfing images that surprise the viewer at every corner.

 

Describing Shahriar Ahmadi’s work as “joyously swift and confident”, Edward Lucie-Smith, the famous English writer and art critic, writes: “If one looks at the way in which Ahmadi’s work has developed, one sees him gradually shedding Western influences, and becoming more specifically Iranian as he does so… one of the things that distinguishes Ahmadi’s work is the confident elegance of the facture. He has been able to translate the swift, confident elegance of Iranian penmanship into terms that suit working in acrylic on canvas… Much contemporary art appropriates from previous styles… [Ahmadi] takes from the past, but never imitates it.”

 

Ahmadi’s unique way of intermixing elements of figurative painting into his abstract forms has been often a subject of interest. In the 56th Venice Biennale’s catalog, Marco Meneguzzo wrote: “The modernity of his approach lies in his attempt to update the ancient figurative tradition with the gestural, broken and almost abstract modernist tradition. The result is a series of works that are linguistically coherent and consistent with each other and which there is constructed a kind of ‘middle ground’ between abstraction and figuration.”

 

The artist states: “In a family of artists, I began my journey into the world of art with calligraphy, creating portraits with words. I then realized that painting does for me what no other artistic medium can; it stops time in its tracks. Each of my paintings is a slice of my imagination in a single moment, yet they reveal all my secrets within that moment. I paint to place next to each other all these moments in time which represent life, to engage in a dialogue with history and present a kind of dialectic.”

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