Sohrab Sepehri, one of Iran’s most appreciated poet and painter, is best known for his captivating paintings of trees deprived of their branches and foliage. A constant traveller, Sepehri travelled the world and lived in Paris, the US and Japan visiting on several occasions the lands of India and the African continent. Although of an ascetic temperament, the art and intellectual circles he encountered during his trips inspired him profoundly.
The present work exemplifies his multiple influences. While the sand texture of the background, the earthy palette of his work and the delicate brushstrokes of the abstracted still-life reveal his admiration for the Zen philosophy and for the ink parchments that he encountered during his life-changing stay in Tokyo, the geometric planes depicted in the present work hint at Constructivism and Suprematism that prevailed in East European art from the 1920s onwards. Reminiscent of Kazimir Malevich’s iconic work Suprematist Composition: White on White and also of the works of El Lissitzky, the austere geometric shapes that are subtly depicted on the background suggest a feeling of infinite space rather than definite borders alluding to the artist’s social ideals commonly shared with the Russian avant-garde.
The present work, previously in an American collection, is a rare example as it combines both his delicate brushstrokes and still-life painting with pure geometry. Essentially Post-Modern, the present work epitomises the unrivalled artistic talent of Sepehri.