Art And Culture

Best of Sahabi on Display

Best of Sahabi on DisplayBest of Sahabi on Display

A selection of artworks, titled ‘Paintings on Unfinished World’ by the late celebrated artist, writer, sculptor and translator Mehdi Sahabi, are on display at the Iranian Calligraphers’ Society in Tehran.

The exhibit, a collection of photography, volume art and paintings, created over different periods of time by Sahabi opened on Friday as part of a follow-up program of a multiple-section art project, titled ‘An overview of Iranian contemporary art pioneers,’ Honaronline reported.

Some of the artworks, with a price tag ranging from $2,000 to $14,000, are on sale.

As was the practice of the art project in the earlier editions, a video on the life story and works of Sahabi, directed by Mohammad Hamzei, was screened. The opening ceremony also provided an opportunity for well-known artists and visitors to interact.

Acclaimed writer and actor, Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, known for his promotion of social and artistic freedom and realistic depictions of rural life, spoke on Sahabi’s translation of the seven-volume work ‘In Search of Lost Time,’ by French novelist Marcel Proust.

The novel is among well-known literary works of the late 19th century, “that beautifully portrays cultural development in Europe of that time,” said Dowlatabadi.

Cinema and theater artist and author, Reza Kianian who was also present, said the early translations by Sahabi were “ideological, but his later works were world-class socialist and classic literary pieces.” The same change can be observed in Sahabi’s visual arts.

Wrecked crashed cars in closed dark spaces are samples of the artist’s earlier paintings. “A sort of lapse is seen in his first paintings. As times goes, he adds colors to his works, opening a window into the dark world of his paintings, letting in more light.”

 Book Unveiled

Veteran author Houri Etesam signed and presented her book ‘Interview with Mehdi Sahabi’ to enthusiasts at the function.

Pointing to her close friendship with Sahabi, she said: “We used to spend long hours discussing and analyzing his literary and artistic works. I wanted to make an analytical study of his works and was in the process of scrutinizing his photos and paintings, but his sudden demise has left a void.”

She dedicated her book to Sahabi’s lifetime achievements.

Mehdi Sahabi (1944–2009) was born in Qazvin. He translated novels in English, French and Italian, languages in which he was proficient, into Persian.

His translation of ‘In Search of Lost Time’, on which he spent 11 years, is considered to be his finest. He also translated Gustave Flaubert’s ‘Madame Bovary’ and ‘Sentimental Education’, Charles Dickens’ ‘David Copperfield’, ‘All Men are Mortal’ by Simone de Beauvoir, Stendhal’s ‘The Red and the Black’, ‘The Baron in the Trees’ by Italo Calvino and Louis-Ferdinand Celine’s ‘Death on Credit’.

Sahabi died in Paris of a heart attack on November 9, 2009.

The exhibition will run through March 2 at the society’s Tehran Art Center 2, No. 145, North Salimi Ave., Andarzgou Bldv., Farmanieh neighborhood.