Salem Al-Dabbagh, (Iraqi, b. 1941)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more Property From A Private Collection, Jupiter Island, Florida
Parviz Tanavoli (Iranian, b. 1937)

The Last Poet of Iran

Details
Parviz Tanavoli (Iranian, b. 1937)
The Last Poet of Iran
signed in Farsi and signed 'PARVIZ Tanavoli' (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
53½ x 53 3/8in. (136 x 135.5cm.)
Painted in Minneapolis in 1962
Provenance
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner circa mid-1960s.
Special notice

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.
Sale room notice
Please note that this work is signed and dated 'Tanavoli 62' (lower left)

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Lot Essay

Widely recognised for his 'sculptural poetry', Parviz Tanavoli is undeniably one of the most influential artists of Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern art. Tanavoli's leading position in the art market was established when Oh, Persepolis broke records for any given Middle Eastern artwork at Christie's in Dubai, selling for 2.8 million dollars.
Inspired by classical Persian poetry, calligraphy, mythology and miniature painting, through his oeuvre, Tanavoli aims to reconcile the contemporary sensibilities of today's world with his Persian heritage and thus leads the viewer through a spiritual journey. A founding member of the neo-traditionalist Saqqakhaneh school, Parviz Tanavoli is an acclaimed collector, scholar, author, sculptor, painter and carpet weaver. He draws inspiration from Iran's historic and folkloric culture, integrating popular symbols in his art. His passion and extensive knowledge on traditional crafts coupled with his understanding of the Western artistic trends have made him one of the most influential artists of his generation. Christie's is honoured to present this exquisite work, one of the hidden gems of Tanavoli's oeuvre as most light has been shed on his sculptures, his paintings rarely being offered at auction. Not only is the present work visually appealing and profound, it is simultaneously mysterious and intriguing. The patterns that Tanavoli depicts in his artwork are a mixture of letters, symbols and figures, a somewhat invented artistic vocabulary inspired by ancient Middle Eastern scripts, more specifically cuneiform writing, a system of pictographs widely used by the Sumerian civilisations.

Depicting delicate geometrical figures, devoid of facial expressions or features, the present work is reminiscent of pre-historic cave paintings. Resembling his sculptures, Tanavoli's characters reveal a minimal outline for a body, allowing the viewer to focus on the individuality of each figure. Upon closer inspection, the viewer identifies familiar elements and features, revealing expressions of love, as well as religious symbols and allegories for animals and family members amongst others. The present work, painted in 1962 while the artist lived in Minneapolis and taught at the School of Art, is a celebration of life and its various facets, coming together as one to create a harmonious work of art. The work reveals a strong sense of humanity and gives Tanavoli yet another medium in which he excels.

Tanavoli's works are featured today in leading institutions around the world, such as the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Mathaf in Doha as well as in distinguished private collections internationally. An equally important painting by Parviz Tanavoli is part of the New York University's Collection and was previously owned by Abby Weed Grey, a passionate supporter of Iranian art, an avid collector and devoted mentor to Tanavoli. The present work is a fine and rare example from Tanavoli's career and is unquestionably a collector's piece.
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