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Reza Mafi (Iranian, 1943-1982)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION 
Reza Mafi (Iranian, 1943-1982)


Reza Mafi (Iranian, 1943-1982)
oil and gold paint on polystyrene laid down on panel
27½ x 47¼in. (70 x 120cm.)
Painted in 1970
Private Collection, Tehran (acquired directly from the artist). Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2012.
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Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importation value (low estimate) levied at the time of collection shipment within UAE. For UAE buyers, please note that duty is paid at origin (Dubai) and not in the importing country. As such, duty paid in Dubai is treated as final duty payment. It is the buyer's responsibility to ascertain and pay all taxes due.

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Lot Essay

One of the fathers of Modern calligraphy in Iran, Reza Mafi came from a family of calligraphers and soon became a pioneer of the Naqqashi-Khat movement along with Mohammed Ehsai and Nasrollah Afjehei. Trained as a classical calligrapher, his technique and application of the letter revealed his Modern influences as he combined local writing styles with techniques and forms adapted from Western Modern art and his works often encompassed calligraphic compositions with underlying political messages. His most sought-after works are his shaped and three-dimensional compositions inspired by colourful Persian tileworks, of which the present work is an outstanding example.
Experimenting the expressive qualities of the Nastaliq - a hanging script developed in Iran during the fifteenth century that became the script of choice in most of the Persian poetic manuscripts - Reza Mafi focused on the hanging tails of the letters and reduced the script to its essentials, thus creating an abstract composition.
The present lot, an exceptional example from his most important series of work, references a poem by the acclaimed Omar Khayyam. A delicate and striking composition in which hues of blue and gold are reminiscent of the majestic architecture of the Islamic monument, the work equally reveals the artist's cross-cultural experimentation.

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