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Reza Derakshani (Iranian, b. 1952)
Reza Derakshani (Iranian, b. 1952)


Reza Derakshani (Iranian, b. 1952)
titled 'RED HUNTING - No III' (upper right); signed with the artist's initials and dated 'r.D 09' (lower right); signed in Farsi, signed with the artist's initials, titled and dated 'HUNTING RED NO. 3 r. D 09' (on the reverse)
oil, resin and gold leaf on canvas
75 3/8 x 98 5/8in. (191.5 x 250.5cm.)
Painted in 2009
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.

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James Lees
James Lees

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Lot Essay

The renowned artist, painter and musician Reza Derakshani is prized for his vibrantly coloured and expressive canvases that captivate the viewer and transports them to a fantastical world of intense beauty alluding to Persian culture and traditions. In the seminal work, RED HUNTING III, Derakshani builds complex layers of his signature dark, deep and rich reds, which are interspersed by shimmering bursts of gold reflections in what appears to be an abstract composition of intense and eerily brilliant colours. Constructed almost like lacquer, the surface of the work resonates with contrasting and complementary sensations of opacity and luminosity - the thick layers interfered with by a pallet knife to reveal a quick peek at what lies beneath, a gold shimmer, or dark abstract shape, that is quickly concealed by another
thick dash of resplendent red.

Part of the Miniature series, RED HUNTING III references the vocabulary of traditional delicate scenes in Persian miniatures depicting royalty at leisure, pleasure gardens and secret lovers and, relevant to the present lot, hunting and polo tournaments. In the artist's interpretation of these highly detailed depictions, he transforms limitless surfaces to incorporate rich bursts of shapes and colours - horses and figures become spatially dislocated and the definition between the two become so abstract that they morph into pure form, undefined in their existence across the large and impressive canvas.

Although comprehension of RED HUNTING III is intrinsically linked to a cultural understanding and awareness of the artist's heritage, Derakshani manages to bridge the gap between history and the present, between modern and contemporary and between Eastern and Western traditions that offer a timeless and universal appreciation of his works.

It is often said that Derakshani treats his canvases like a performative construction; bringing together his love and passion for music with his love for art. His creations and particularly his use of a hypnotising red, thick brushstrokes and layers resonate with a spirituality that allows the viewer to revel in the expressive and enchanting materiality of his works. In this sense, in the present work, one cannot help but hear the poetic movements of the surface just as much as one views the paint and defined brush movements across the canvas.

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