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Mohammad Ehsai (Iranian, b. 1939)
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Mohammad Ehsai (Iranian, b. 1939)

Speak About Companion

Mohammad Ehsai (Iranian, b. 1939)
Speak About Companion
signed in Farsi, signed and dated 'MEhsaei 2011' (lower left)
oil on canvas
47 5/8 x 69in. (121 x 175.2cm.)
Painted in 2011
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Lot Essay

'I have culled reporting and narration from the written word making the form of the letter the main element of my work; in this way, I have achieved individual compositions which are essentially visual structures based on the architecture of letters'
(Mohammad Ehsai, 2012).

Applying calligraphy as the main element of his works, celebrated Iranian artist
Mohammad Ehsai represents the continuation of an artistic movement which
sought to leave its mark by combining traditional techniques into a Modern
artistic form. Utilising his knowledge of graphic arts to create impressive
pictures, Ehsais works, unlike traditional Persian calligraphy, can be divided into
two categories: calligraphy-paintings and eternal alphabet, the present lot an
example of the former.
Speak About Companion engages in a visual language strongly influenced by
structural calculations and the use of calligraphy in architecture, which has
enjoyed a strong history in Islamic art. Here Ehsai offers a new interpretation
of the traditional arts by transforming colouration, execution and the use of
material in a reconfigured sphere that has been made possible through modern
The significance of this work lies in its ability to create abstract forms through
the use of letters. The austere distribution of words within the frame is indicative
of a supreme order derived from centuries of utopian idealism in religion. Since
the written word has historically been used as a tool for the documentation
and transfer of knowledge, each written piece, before even being read, holds
an intellectual weight. As such, these written forms and words come together
in an artistic creation, outside the realm of calligraphic art and places that piece
in a symbolic order of meaning. Repetitions are fundamental and evidently
regulated, as calligraphic forms are not scattered, instead, each choice of letter
and the way they come together creates a clear and concise rhythm that can
easily be followed.
In this stunning example from the artists calligraphy-paintings, the linguistic
references of a phrase or sentence find meaning through the logic of forms
and colours. Typical of the artists oeuvre, the choice of colour palette
monochromatic green on black background exasperates the notion of free flowing visual art that transports the viewer to a spiritual appreciation of a
traditional artform revisited in a Modern manner.

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