Salar Ahmadian


Iranian artist Salar Ahmadian’s most recent works weave together text and colour, tradition and modernity. While the artist studied calligraphic art at university, he also desired to move calligraphy away from merely a traditional representation to a form which included the abstract synthesis of the present. For Ahmadian, his creative process is based upon the crux of his Persian heritage and the achievements of Contemporary Western art history. His paintings pay reference to Ahmadian’s work as a goldsmith, sculptor, designer and traditional calligrapher while also recalling major architectural and artistic elements pivotal to the history of his homeland such as the structure of Iranian mosques, including traditional gilding and metalwork, and also the detail and colour found in Persian miniature paintings.
Biography
Iranian artist Salar Ahmadian's most recent works weave together text and colour, tradition and modernity. While the artist studied calligraphic art at university, he also desired to move calligraphy away from merely a traditional representation to a form which included the abstract synthesis of the present. For Ahmadian, his creative process is based upon the crux of his Persian heritage and the achievements of Contemporary Western art history. His paintings pay reference to Ahmadian's work as a goldsmith, sculptor, designer and traditional calligrapher while also recalling major architectural and artistic elements pivotal to the history of his homeland. He incorporates images such as the structure of Iranian mosques, including traditional gilding and metalwork, as well as the detail and colour found in Persian miniature paintings.
Solo Exhibitions
2015 Cube Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2015 Galerie Nicolas Flamel, Paris, France
2015 Ash Gallery, Lebanon, Beirut
2015 Art Club, Toronto, Canada
2015 Jamm Gallery, Kuwait
2014 Galerie, Nicolas Flamel, Paris, France
2014 Gallery Taraneye Baran, Teharan, Iran
2013 Etemad Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2010 Mah e Mehr Gallery, Tehran, Iran
2010 Niavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, Iran
2009 Niavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, Iran
2008 Hunar Gallery, Dubai, UAE
2008 Chelsea Gallery, London, England
2008 CCZ Gallery, Paris, France
2007 Ian Tan Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
2006 Arta Gallery, Toronto, Canada
2005 Georgetown Gallery, Washington, USA
2004 Orlando Museum of Art, Orlando, USA
2003 Celebrity Centre International, California, USA
2003 Hourian Fine Art Gallery, San Francisco, USA
2003 Le Palais Oriental, Montreux, Switzerland
2002 Emroy Gallery, Atlanta, Georgia, USA
2001 Boushahri Gallery, Kuwait
2001 Rockville Gallery, Maryland, USA
2001 Art Studio, Vancouver, Canada
2000 Cultural Centre, Köln, Germany
1999 Total Art Gallery, Dubai, UAE
1998 Castle of Art, New York, USA
1995 Gallery Aurum, Lausanne, Switzerland
1995 Manly Museum Gallery, Sydney, Australia
1994 Bernadettes Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Juried Exhibitions
2016 Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, UAE
Collections
Auctions:
2016 “Melli” Auction, Tehran, Iran
2015 Ayyam Gallery, Young Collectors Auction, Dubai, UAE
2015 Galerie Nicolas Flamel, Monaco
2015 Contemporary and Modern Art, Tehran, Iran
2014 Ayyam Gallery, Young Collectors Auction, Dubai, UAE
2012 Christies Auction, Dubai, UAE
2012 Contemporary and Modern Art, Tehran, Iran
2012 Jamm Art Auction, Kuwait
2011 Contemporary and Modern Art, Tehran, Iran
2011 Christies Auction, Dubai, UAE
2010 Christies Auction, Dubai, UAE
Awards
1978 Faculty Of Fine Art Scholarship, Iran & Italy
Media Coverage
They dance before you – swift circular ribbons cast in a multitude of vibrant colours and forms. They come together in bountiful clustered shapes and then break apart to trail off on their own; they knot and intertwine repeatedly in continuous movement to spontaneously create the formations which are presented before the beholder. These are the leftovers of words – the remnants of previously construed calligraphic forms now transformed into a myriad of abstract shapes.

Artist Salar Ahmadian’s most recent works weave together text and colour, tradition and modernity. Entitled From Past to Present, in this most extensive solo show to date Ahmadian delves beyond the calligraphic script to present a new visual language akin to the symbolism of Pop Art or the serendipitous creative process of Surrealism. In a matter which recalls the techniques of Jackson Pollock and Rothko, on his canvas the artist compromises between his artistic will, the uncertainty of the brushstroke and his imagination.

For Ahmadian, his creative process is based upon the crux of his style of calligraphy and the achievements of Contemporary Western art history. As found in the artist’s previous paintings, these new works show how he has once again abstracted the calligraphic form so that the formal resemblance to the traditional script is made clear, and yet the characters are devoid of a clear textual meaning; they are so abstracted that it is impossible to know of what they first stood for.

While the artist studied calligraphic art at university, he also desired to move calligraphy away from merely a traditional representation to a form which included the abstract synthesis of the present. As the title of the exhibition suggests, these works showcase a way to approach the differences between the past and the present: Ahmadian couldn’t arrive at these present shapes and colours had he not been influenced by the past.

The works incorporate colours which refer to ideas of happiness, vitality and energy. Their vibrant colouring is just as strong as the movement each professes, while their imaginary abstract forms recall the shape of a colourful Iranian carpet or the country’s wild eternal gardens. Their lurid shapes nevertheless push beyond specific Persian references that were more relevant in Ahmadian’s previous work whereby he relied more heavily on the symbolism of Persian miniatures and traditional Iranian culture. He now embraces the contemporary present.

While each of the works is devoid of a title, their formal qualities still transport the spectator into another world – one which is not confined by strict adherence to guidelines, rules and regulations. The beholder in turn is led to dream up scenarios and let his imagination reinterpret the scene freely as according to his feelings of the moment. Ahmadian’s use of the calligraphic form thus opens up the possibilities of a range of subject matters including philosophical ideas relating to morality and immorality – the latter visualised through the continual breath of movement of the colours and forms, while the former might be seen in the intertwining of the lines into a tight emrace.

And yet Ahmadian’s new works also seem to play games with the viewer’s perception. The long calligraphic forms are thick and almost sculptural in shape – creating what appears to be tangible ribbons which constantly twist and turn around each other. These paintings also pay reference to Ahmadian’s work as a goldsmith, sculptor, designer and traditional calligrapher.

Yet after such an embrace of the aesthetic forms of the past, Ahmadian pays heed to the present. He makes reference to the freedom of the Abstract Expressionist painters, their surrender to the force of gravity, the unknown and the undefined while also maintaining a sense of logic and control within their work. As Ahmadian shows, it is a delicate balance to adhere to on the canvas – his precisely painted calligraphic lines are at once clearly defined and yet free. The structure is there but the substance must be recreated; the paintings declare the importance of the past but desperately desire to reconcile it to the present. As Ahmadian himself states, “I wanted to create a special style of calligraphy that would become noteworthy for the Europeans, Americans and also the Arab world”. The artist’s abstracted supple, smooth and boldly coloured lines passionately desire to bridge the East and the West through the simplicity of abstract shapes.

Rebecca Anne Proctor, Editor-in-Chief, Masquerade Magazine – January, 2013

Museum Collections & Public Installations
SPM Salsali Private Museum, Dubai, UAE
Contemporary Art Museum, Tehran, Iran
Orlando Museum, Florida, USA
Manly Museum, Sydney, Australia