• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7477

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    31 October 2007, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 82



    Price Realised  


    signed and dated in Farsi (lower right)
    acrylic on canvas
    63 x 108¼in. (160 x 275cm.)
    Executed in 2001

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    Nasrotallah Moslemian's paintings have their basis in Persian classical miniatures. His bright colours, curving lines, and rejection of scale and Western system of proportions all recall the historical model. Moslemian has transformed these elements to produce a style which is both highly abstracted and original, a contemporary take on the Persian miniature tradition.

    A principle which dominates his compositions is the concept of 'sectional space'. This is seen widely in Persian miniatures, and is roughly equivalent to their ideal space. Moslemian's pictorial space, neither illusionist nor completely two-dimensional, comprises combined, detached, or overlapping subdivisions. An independent section may be either figures shown beyond the horizon line, or a coloured strip with particular motif, or a scrap of a printed illustration. The sections are often visually distinguishable, but bear a kind of conceptual interconnection. This spacing method brings about something of the feel of suspension within time and place.

    Moslemian often makes reference mythological symbols, and poetic metaphors taken from the broad repertoire of Persian culture. Familiar symbols such as the crescent, the pond, the elongated cypress, birds, the bull horn, and the watermelon slice often carry more than one meaning in his paintings. His crescent is a poetic metaphor, and particularly, a tool as cutting as a sword blade; and the arched line becomes both the horizon and passage of time.

    Moslemian was the winner of the Grand Prix Award at the First International Beijing Biennial, 2003, and the winner of the First Prize at the First Tehran International Biennial of the Islamic World, 2000.