Art And Culture

Iranian Artist’s Work Hailed at Cleveland Foundation

Iranian Artist’s Work Hailed at Cleveland FoundationIranian Artist’s Work Hailed at Cleveland Foundation

Iranian artist Behrang Samadzadegan presented his new artworks “Heading Utopia” in a group exhibition on celebration of his works created during his residency at the US Cleveland Foundation.

He is the foundation’s Creative Fusion autumn 2015 resident artist working at its Zygote Press.

Creative Fusion is an urban-based, community-engaged residency program for international artists created by the foundation.

 A visual artist from Tehran, Samadzadegan creates installations, videos, paintings and print-based works. His work is deeply rooted in community engagement through his investigations of social and cultural identity; investigating the historical documents and images that seek out the real truth in political and social imagery, reports Honaronline.

His works explore themes of social and cultural identity through the “possibility and impossibility of the images,” he constructs. The transition of imagery, the concepts conveyed as well as the ones lost in the interpretation, is a major topic of exploration.

The Zygote Press, Cleveland Print Room and Waterloo Arts in the United States, all host receptions for their Creative Fusion artists.

“The dynamic presence of Behrang Samadzadegan in our shop and all the places he has visited is like a fresh and invigorating breeze - and it hits everyone who comes into contact with him,” said Zygote Press Executive Director Liz Maugans. “This intelligent artist who devours conversations with many who he connects with has been incredibly rewarding to me especially. He is well educated in historic and global views of how art works-and our community is grateful we had this time with him.”

In a statement on his exhibition that opened on November 6, Samadzadegan said: “My work is based on the idea of translation and how things are codified, particularly German cultural critic Walter Benjamin’s concepts and German classical scholar Friedrich Nietzsche’s ideas of mediocrity, as they relate to the ‘facts of aesthetics’.”

“A search for the truth sometimes results in mediocrity. Historically, the print medium is about publishing knowledge in the age of enlightenment. This circle of translation from fact, truth, document, images, aesthetics and now printmaking, are all mixed and judged in the scope of art. Art is always cursed with beauty, even when there are painful narratives and ideas.”


Offering an insight into the challenges of image-making, he said, “Many of the works, especially the prints, don’t convey any of the content of aesthetics or beauty. They all are information about historical facts appropriated from the contemporary society that I am living in.”

Samadzadegan, 36, is a graduate in painting from the Iran Art University of Tehran and has a master’s in fine arts from Tarbiat Modares University.

He is a member of the Association of Iranian Painters (AIP) and the visual editor of ‘Tehranavenue’ electronic magazine.

He has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Iran and abroad, including ‘ Military Attendance’ (2006) at Golestan Art Gallery in Tehran and “Meeting with the Heterotopias, a selection from the Thessaloniki Biennale: One of Contemporary Art” (2008) at the Municipal Gallery of Larisa in Greece.

During his residency, Samadzadegan has been working with the drawing and painting departments at the Cleveland Institute of Art and the Shaker Heights Boys and Girls Club, and has visited Case Western Reserve University and St. Martin de Porre. He was part of a special panel discussion at MOCA Cleveland on November 9.

His exhibition will remain on view through November 21 at Zygote Press.

Creative Fusion consists of two, three-month residencies in Cleveland in the spring and fall each year. Each residency period hosts up to six artists primarily from Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America, New Zealand and Australia. Invited artists get the opportunity to develop new work and share a contemporary view of their culture.