Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Mid Eastern Abstract Calligraphy

Not so song ago I had a watershed experience when I discovered a trove of Italian artists who were into (abstract) calligraphy, one way or another. It was quite an experience to see all the experimenting and creativity by those nationals. When the word calligraphy is used we usually picture wedding invitations or oriental characters. We forget that this type of activity and creativity is universal.
And so it was quite a treat the other afternoon to accidentally come across a trove of middle eastern calligraphers and view this art from their point of view. Some works are meant to be readable; others, not so much. There's definitely a lot of abstraction going on here; a lot of play with the fluid, gestural movements of the brush. There are undertones of culture and politics and religion going on here which give even more meaning the the art works. I like encountering these works from that standpoint. There's so much more meat for the mind.
The above work is by Mohammad Ehsai, an Iranian born in 1939. The image is from elitechoice.org. What few images you'll find, when you Google him, are all about gestural beauty, but the titles let you know that it's about religion too.

What started this whole adventure was stumbling across Sotheby's Modern & Contemporary Arab & Iranian Art Sale on Oct.24, 2007. You really must check out their site. In order to explore it, you must register. It's free and just takes a moment or two. But it's well worth your while and quite an education in itself. In pursuing those artists from that one particular auction, I ended up far afield and now have quite a bit of material to sort through and digest.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That painting by Mohammad Ehsai is absolutely GORGEOUS! I wish I could get him to paint over my photographs. Damn that is inspiring.