Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Exhibition Review


It has been around two decades that he is watching the world around him behind the socio-political events in a blurry and out-of-focus way. “Monoptych, State, Triptych”, and today “Interior/Exterior”; an extremely contradictory and paradoxical environment that visualizes our today’s situation in a parodic way.

Mojtaba Tabatabaei, today’s famous painter, after many years of continuous activity, is definitely one of the few artists who we can follow their look at the world around them in their work. The exhibition includes large blurry paintings of indoor and outdoor spaces; from parties, urban spaces, and their confrontation together, next to single portraits that seem to be taken by agrandisor (enlarger) from the heart of those huge and blurry canvases and joys, sitting in a corner lifeless and tired and bored.

Those gazed familiar portraits next to other works in a gallery may be an irony of our current situation and a mirror of today’s geography of Iran with a biting irony of how we are looking for our inevitable and unknown destiny.

Looking at Mojtaba Tabatabaei’s works is like a mirage; cold and blurry and sleepy with thousands of unanswered questions. Its display in such bitter days of interval and crowdedness of useless governmental auctions and festivals is a trophy to remind us what the duty of art is and what the task of an artist might be.