Script & Shape in ‘Apadana Elixir’
Art And Culture

Script & Shape in ‘Apadana Elixir’

Morteza Shaabani’s sculptures display “a sort of interaction between script and shape” attributed to 10 years of studying transcriptions and structures of the Achaemenid era and the symbols used in Apadana. It honors the unknown artists as a reminder of the magnificence of Persia in an exhibition titled ‘Apadana Elixir’ at Atbin Gallery.
The works comprise volumes that have a modern interpretation of the sculptures in Apadana (the great palace and audience hall at Persepolis), Shaabani said in an interview with ISNA
There are 10 volumes inspired by the famous Apadana palace of the Achaemenid Empire that takes a look at Iran’s past glory from a fresh perspective. The exhibition includes symbols like double-bull and eagle capitals, statue of Darius, and the Cyrus Cylinder made of copper and bronze for solidity and sturdiness.
Rhytons or containers from which fluids were intended to be drunk, (mostly in the shape of an animal) that “resemble the body of Darius the Great are created, and embody Nasta’liq (Persian calligraphy) transcribed from their cuneiform source.”

 Persian Pride
The artist has used Nasta’liq as it is the traditional style of Persian script as well as predominant in Persian-Islamic calligraphy, but here it is more a formal expression rather than legibility in his work. Such sculptures portray Apadana’s history “with a sense of Persian pride.”
“I wondered how I could restore the historical structures - that were once erected with strength and elegance but are currently scattered in the world’s museums - through the interpreting language of shapes,” the artist said. The exhibition “is aimed at revealing the resoluteness of the most serious era of sculpting in Iran, while exploring the connotations behind the rituals and philosophies of Apadana,” he said.
Shaabani is a sculpting graduate from the University of Tehran’s faculty of fine arts. He took up sculpting 13 years ago and has been pursuing it professionally for the last 8 years.
The exhibition will host sculpting enthusiasts daily until February 17 at No. 42, Khakzad Street, Touraj Street, Valiasr Avenue, Tehran.

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