Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Exhibition Review

About Golestaneh

Was Ali Golestaneh an isolated artist? And why, unlike his contemporaries, did he join no artistic movement? What made him indifferent to them?

His paintings were based on observing and representing the corners of everyday life. In his autobiography, which has not yet been pyblished, Ali Asghar Mohtaj says that Ali Golestaneh had a crazy artistic character that never adopted to the situation around him since the beginning of his youth until recently. Aydin Aghdashloo also has repeatedly named him as the most intuitive living Iranian modernist who approaches painting without graphic precision (pre-plan).

The multiplicity of themes in works of Ali Golestaneh is also because of his improvisation. He never had an idea-based approach in his career, and tried to work as a figurative painter, but various subjects are symbolically depicted in his works; in this way that in his painting of the chair and vase, painted in green background, the artist had not tried to set the scene for a good painting, as if everything was drawn as it was. This feature causes a kind of eternity in his work, meaning that the room will remain forever as the painter had seen it. Also, in the series of figures he created in Spain with colored pencil, in addition to the impact of European artists, the life study of Europeans is also visible, according to the artist himself. But technically, his works can be divided into three parts: pencil and colored pencil which includes most of his works, water color, and oil paint. However, using these techniques, Golestaneh was not seeking to any specific stroke and never tried to use this material in a different way. In most of his works, the color levels are easily distinguishable. The reality of Iran’s painting today and yesterday is that our artists create art works with a predetermined order, and in this aspect, Aghdashloo is right: Ali Golestaneh and Farideh Lashai are spontaneous.

This exhibition is a kind of reading of his career, as he was an artist with no show-off. Although his works are available in collectors’ collections, but they are not much known. Collecting this exhibition was started two years ago by Hengameh Moammeri, but unfortunately displaying it did not become possible during his lifetime.

In this exhibition, a collection of Ali Golestaneh’s works from 1975 to the last years of his life in 2020 is presented in XHoma Gallery.