Mohammed Ghani Hikmat (Iraqi, 1929-2011)
Lots are subject to 5% import Duty on the importat… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
Hossein Kazemi (Iranian, 1924-1996)

Untitled (Mystic Fervour)

Hossein Kazemi (Iranian, 1924-1996)
Untitled (Mystic Fervour)
signed and dated 'Hossen.Kazemi 1954' (upper left)
oil on burlap
36¼ x 25in. (92.5 x 63.5cm.)
Painted in 1954
The Estate of Mr. & Mrs. David Weil, Chicago (by whom acquired directly from the artist circa 1955).
Anon. sale, Leslie Hindmann Auctioneers, 18 October 2013, lot 6189.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
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Lot Essay

'Mystic Fervor, which was painted in Paris back in 1954, is one of Hossein Kazemi's outstanding works that reveals his profound understanding of secrets embedded in the surface structure of an original artwork. His competence in drawing and composition as well as his sensitivity to application of warm and cool colours make the eyes of the beholders move across the dimly lit background of the painting. Both in tangible and intangible terms, Kazemi's Mystic Fervor pleases spectators who possess a profound vision. Despite a modern appearance, the work is inundated by a spirit of Persian originality, valiant, nobility and purity. The work can be compared to a sapling in the Garden of Mysticism which foretells secrets of Hossein Kazemi's future works.
As though from eternity was ascribed
All beauties to the sage.'
(The art historian and critic Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari quoted, Paris, August 2014).

The present work, a rare and striking composition by the late Iranian painter Hossein Kazemi, depicts a group of five Iranian men seemingly singing and dancing to the sound of the Daf, a traditional Iranian instrument that is considered sacred and is present in Sufi rituals for its power to create trance states. Dressed in traditional attire, the men with their eyes closed appear to be hypnotised by the sound of the framed drum. One of the earliest works by Kazemi to be rediscovered, the present work previously in the collection of the late Mr. and Mrs. David Weil in Chicago, reveals the artist's inspiration by European art, particularly by Cubism and its heritage. In fact, in 1953, Kazemi settled in Paris where he pursued his studies at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He met and collaborated with many artists in the French capital and two solo exhibitions were held in his honour respectively in 1954 and 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, revealing Kazemi's recognition within the artistic circles in Paris. Christie's is proud to be offering this rare composition by Hossein Kazemi, an unprecedented discovery in Iranian art history.

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