Short Reviews

on Iranian

Contemporary Art

Exhibition Review


Ali Akbar Sadeghi is a narrative artist whose works are a combination of Iranian classic painting and surrealism. His works come from the world of literature and mythology, and with his mastery over Iranian miniature, he has presented a new look in Iran’s art scene. However, his works do not fit into any particular form of Iranian art and painting. He always presents everything as unstable and escapes from the usual aesthetics of modernist works, but connects them with wonder and amazement. He narrates the folk culture that is mixed with contemporaneity of the world, so it goes beyond the native geography of the painter and turns into a global language. The demons are always an inferable concern in his works that have never been separated from the social context of the society.

“Mad” is a series of Sadeghi’s demons that always crosses the borders of fantasy and reality and leads to creation on the canvas, and spike the audience in front of the amazement of the works. The audience’s joy from finding such fertile canvas comes from the discovery that is made by seeing it again and again. Thick paints with lines have a decisive role in Sadeghi’s works, and do not leave the viewer’s eyes for a moment.

Entering the exhibition, a video biography of the artist is being played, and then the audience will be confronted with the works. In the middle of the room, there are 9 self-portraits of Sadeghi painted in bright colors with some elements from his previous works, including nails, helmets, spears and demons, and show his face with exaggerated mimes of human mental states, such as distress, anger, despair, wonder, and pain. The metaphorical and symbolic language that Sadeghi has chosen for his works, has allowed him to share his inner thoughts and dreams with his audience. Sadeghi faces the reality around him with humor.

During the past sixty years, Sadeghi has been professionally active in different artistic fields, and the number of his art works is unbelievable. The important point here is that during his life, along with ups and downs of the time and his own life, he had the opportunity to create all these works with great diversity, and they never overcome the other in terms of quality and quantity.