Art And Culture

Nonagenarian Artist Showcases Works After 6 Decades

Nonagenarian Artist Showcases Works After 6 DecadesNonagenarian Artist Showcases Works After 6 Decades

A painting collection by nonagenarian artist Abolghassem Saeedi will be shown for the first time in 60 years at Shahrivar Art Gallery.

At a press conference held at the gallery earlier this week, Saeedi spoke of his attachments to his works and said, “This is the first time in my life I am showcasing my works at an exhibition. It has always been difficult for me to do so; I am never done with my works and painting never finishes for me, so I feel if I sign one of my creations, it will be separated from me.”

However, sometimes he has to sign his artworks; as with other artists, he needs to sell his works to make a living. “At times when a painting is for livelihood, I have no choice but to sign and let it go,” he said.

The exhibition is held concurrent with the 90th birth anniversary of the veteran painter at the newly-established Shahivar Gallery, which will be inaugurated on Friday (June 12), ISNA reported.

Saeedi believes that painting has its own language so there is no need to explain about the works. “Those who let their imagination fly can understand the language of paintings.”

The exhibition includes 30 artworks in different sizes, mostly featuring a combination of modern techniques and traditional Iranian art themes.

  Figurative Style

Pointing to his style, he said: “I’m a figurative and a naturalist.” He is sensitive to rhythm and geometry and portraying these forms “is more important than being a naturalist.”

He said most subjects are abstract and if a person is curious, he will be able to create effective art. “It is important to put your volition in creating art. If there is a will, a blank paper will turn into a subject,” Saeedi said. “I expect my works to be scrutinized and their meaning to be analyzed.

Saeedi is a contemporary of eminent Iranian artists Marcos Grigorian, Iranian-Armenian artist and a pioneer of Iranian modern art, Mohsen Vaziri-Moghaddam, painter and a professor of art, Parviz Tanavoli sculptor, painter, scholar and art collector, Hossein Zenderoudi painter and sculptor, and a close friend of the late Sohrab Sepehri, eminent Persian poet and painter.

Born in 1925 in Arak (capital of Markazi Province), Saeedi graduated from Beaux-Arts, National School of Fine Arts in Paris in 1955. He has been living and working in France for more than 3 decades, though “Iran has always been my home,” he said, describing Paris merely “an atelier”.

The idea of the exhibition was proposed by Amir-Hossein Zandi, Shahrivar Gallery director who had met Saeedi in Paris. Most of the works at the exhibition belong to the artist’s personal collection and a few have been donated by collectors. Saeedi’s last work, painted just a month ago, will be also displayed.

  Int’l Exhibitions

On the founding of the new gallery, Zandi said, “in my visits to art spaces in foreign countries, I realized that the works of Iranians can potentially shine on the international scene.” He intends to showcase the works of young and veteran artists first in the country, before taking them to international exhibitions.

Saeedi won the 2nd and the 5th Tehran Contemporary Painting Biennial competition in 1958 and 1964, and the France Young Painter Prize in 1959. He is also one of the first Iranian competitors in the Venice Festival.

He has held numerous solo exhibitions and group galleries in France, Belgium, Spain and Switzerland, including the Young Painters Hall and annual exhibitions in Paris from 1954 to 1961 and Paris, Tehran, and Sao Paulo biennales. He is also a member of the jury in the Young Painting Exhibition of Paris and Association of French Painters.

Saeedi’s works are a combination of personal skills and modern creativity, featuring traces of traditional Iranian art.  As Saeedi’s works have not been showcased in Iran for more than 60 years, it will be interesting for modern art enthusiasts.  The show will open on June 12 at the gallery at No. 9, Hormoz Dead end, N. Kazar St., Elahieh and run for a month.