Art And Culture

Art Center to Display Taraghijah Paintings

The naturalistic style of the artist, strong colors, nostalgia, rural elements and nature are characteristics of the artworks
Art Center to Display Taraghijah PaintingsArt Center to Display Taraghijah Paintings

An exhibition of paintings by the late artist Mohammad Ali Taraghijah will go on display from February 17 at Art Center 2 in northern Tehran.

The exhibit is part of the project ‘An overview of works by the pioneers of modern art in Iran’ which the center has undertaken over the past years, ISNA reported.

It is a retrospective of the late artist’s work and presents 30 paintings created in different periods of his artistic career as well as a documentary made on his life.

Taraghijah (1943-2010) graduated as a mechanical engineer. However, he was an artist at heart and went on to become one of the most distinguished figures of Iranian contemporary art.

He held his first solo exhibit in Tehran in 1976 at the age of 24. By early 1980s he developed a unique manner characterized by stylized horses that became his trademark.

He exhibited his works worldwide, in Tokyo, Beijing, Paris, Madrid, Geneva, Florence, New York, Chicago and Mexico City.

In 1994, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts chose some of his paintings for the museum collection and printed a collection of the works. In 1998, UNICEF selected two of his paintings for Christmas cards.

His last solo exhibition was in Geneva (2010). Upon his return to Iran he passed away, at 67 years of age.

  International Appeal

The naturalistic style of the artist, strong colors, nostalgia, rural elements and nature are characteristics of the artworks. While local elements are mostly used in his paintings, they had universal appeal. 

The works feature concepts of identity, reconciliation with nature and the environment, a reason why his art was internationally acclaimed. His subjects are primarily abstract repetitive horses, roosters, with human figurines, painted in bright and happy colors, sometimes mixed with highly stylized Persian calligraphy. 

In describing his paintings Taraghijah once said: “The horses in my paintings ride free of the earth, as do the roosters, human forms and mountains. This symbolizes their constant thoughts of their origins, paradise, where there is peace, harmony and love. Their desire is to fly and to return home to loved ones. The color white in my paintings symbolizes God. We feel his presence close to us everywhere.”

The exhibit will be free for the public until February 28 at the venue located at No. 145, Persian Calligraphy Society, N. Salimi St., Andarzgoo Blvd., Farmanieh neighborhood.

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