• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7674

    International Modern and Contemporary Art

    30 October 2008, Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel

  • Lot 70

    Sohrab Sepehri (Iranian, 1928-1980)

    Untitled (from the Trees Series)

    Price Realised  


    Sohrab Sepehri (Iranian, 1928-1980)
    Untitled (from the Trees Series)
    signed in Farsi (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    34 1/3 X 59in. (100 x 150cm.)
    Painted circa early 1970s

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    The present work is an outstanding example of the most important series by Sohrab Sepheri, a figure who holds a unique position within modern Iranian culture, equally famous as he is for his poetry and his poignant body of paintings.

    The most extraordinary thing about the Trees series is the amazing economy with which Sepehri describes his subject. It is true that the forms, either attenuated or broad, resemble calligraphy, but so too are related to the misty landscapes of Far-Eastern hand-painted scrolls. What is new about them, however, is the sheer scale of the individual features and the degree of abstraction, but above all, the way he frames the trees both within and outwith the pictoral space. He never includes the tree in its entirerity, just features of it- the trunks or the branches, or abstracted leaves. On the one hand, these elements are truncated by the picture plane; on the other, huge swathes of blank space surround them in other parts of the picture. Together these effects combine to produce a sense that his subject exists within unlimited space beyond the boundaries of the composition.


    Sehyoun Gallery, Tehran, 1970s

    Pre-Lot Text