Art And Culture

Pilaram’s Paintings on Sale

Pilaram’s Paintings on Sale Pilaram’s Paintings on Sale

An art fair underway in Tehran’s Sohran Gallery, sold over half of the paintings created by the late celebrated artist, Faramarz Pilaram.

The exhibition includes 39 ‘Saqqakhaneh’ style masterpieces by the artist, collected from several sources, including his family and previous painting exhibitions, Mehr News Agency reported.

The term ‘Saqqakhaneh’ was first used to refer to a contemporary art movement in Iran that started in 1962. It was initially associated with the works of artists, both paintings and sculptures, which used already existing elements from votive Shia art in their own modern work.

It gradually came to be applied more widely to art works that used traditional-decorative elements. The masters of Saqqakhaneh movement have taken Iranian folk art and literary traditions beyond their original context, producing a style of intermediary art mixing western and Persian artistic conventions.

Event curator, Mehdi Rouhani pointed to previous art exhibitions on Saqqakhaneh style and said: “A part of the current exhibition is works from earlier private art shows of the artist; 17 items have been borrowed from art collector Sadeq Tabrizi, and 7 small paintings on paper were bought from the Paris Art Auction.”

He described the event as “exciting.”

Given that the acclaimed artist passed away more than three decades ago, collecting over 40 of his paintings was “a rather daunting, but fascinating task.” The event also contributes to promoting the status of the newly established host gallery, he added.

Paintings owned by Pilaram’s family commanded a high price, Rouhani said. “The works are more suitable for foreign art auctions and will not be sold in Iran.”

The paintings are priced between $3,000 and $600,000, among which, the smaller paper paintings have the lowest price tag and a 2.5m by 2m tableau, from Tabrizi’s collection, is the most expensive, estimated at $600,000. The painting, one of Pilaram’s Saqqakhaneh styles, was preserved by Tabrizi for about 40 years.

It was earlier sought by art auction house Sotheby’s, but Tabrizi refused to part with it.

The exhibition will run through November 26 at the gallery, at No.5, 3rd Niloufar Sq., Shahid Arabali St., Khoramshahr Avenue.

  Free Interpretation

Pilaram (1937-1982) was a renowned painter and calligrapher. He modernized Persian calligraphy with many innovations during his lifetime. In addition, he co-founded the Saqqakhaneh School of Art which hosted numerous well-known Persian artists, including Parviz Tanavoli.

Like his contemporaries, Pilaram focused on art that reflected Iranian tradition. He became fascinated by the rhythm and form of Persian and Islamic calligraphy and began producing most of his work with a free interpretation of the forms. Inspired by seals, the artist’s early works incorporated geometric compositions. As his artistic career progressed, he often produced curvilinear rhythmical calligraphic works and adapted the geometric forms to create a three-dimensional effect.

His emphasis on bright colors and his boldness in altering the fundamentals of traditional Persian calligraphy is a key aspect of his art, evident in his works.