Art And Culture

Veteran Artist to Show Works After 4 Decades

Veteran Artist to Show Works After 4 DecadesVeteran Artist to Show Works After 4 Decades

An exhibition of works by Sonia Balassanian, Iranian-Armenian American painter, has been planned for the first time in four decades at Mojdeh Art Gallery in Tehran.

“The veteran artist once again reminds art fans of her artistic skills by participating in Christie’s Dubai, Tehran Auction, Venice Biennale and Istanbul Biennial in the past two years,” Honaronline reported.

The website of Mojdeh Gallery, Balassanian’s agent, has not given the exact date for the exhibition.

Earlier in March, one of her abstract paintings ‘Composition No. 4’ went under the hammer for $52,500 at Christie’s Dubai Auction ‘Modern & Contemporary Arab, Iranian and Turkish Art’.

Another abstract by Balassanian ‘Expanse of Calm’ was sold for $36,000 at the fourth Tehran Auction, in May, which was twice her ‘Under Arch’ that went under the hammer for $18,000 last year at the third Tehran Auction.

Balassanian, 73, is mostly known as a painter; however, she has also spent time on other forms of modern art such as installation and video art.

Her video-installation is on display at Venice Biennale, underway till November.

Born in Iran, Balassanian is of Armenian origin and lives and works in New York and Armenia. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the joint program of Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as a master’s from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.

Her numerous works have been exhibited internationally in solo and group exhibitions in Russia, Italy, Germany, Armenia, France, the US and the Netherlands.

She is founder and artistic director of the Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art in Yerevan, Armenia.

On her abstract style she said, “Basic inspiration of my early abstract paintings are images of barren expanse of mystic land and landscape, impressions formed during my childhood. Later they turned into repetitive gestures of writing, creating a modern visual abstract language of their own.”

She created abstract paintings during two phases in her life: 1970 to 1979 and from 2010 to the present time.

“They were illegible writings with latent eternal wisdom which resembled breeze through the fields, or streaks of rain in glittering light. Endlessly repeating strokes of brush created abstract, rhythmic compositions that are mystical and convey an aura of stand-still quiet and feeling of awe and reverence,” she said of her works.

Balassanian got involved with social issues between 1980 and 2010. Explaining the type of works she created during this period, she said, “They explored and linked my multi-faceted identity with the physical and perceptual world to broader social and cultural issues including gender identity and the role of the individual, especially artists, in today’s society”.

It is over 40 years since her last exhibition in Tehran and Mojdeh Art Gallery is planning to display her works in the near future.

“Holding a solo exhibition once again in Tehran is one of my dreams which I hope is realized soon,” Balassanian said.