Abbas Kiarostami (Iranian, b. 1940)
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Abbas Kiarostami (Iranian, b. 1940)

Untitled (from the Crows series)

Abbas Kiarostami (Iranian, b. 1940)
Untitled (from the Crows series)
signed in Farsi, numbered and dated 'A.P 2008' (on the reverse)
digital print on canvas, in three parts
each: 64¼ x 33½in. (163.2 x 82.5cm.);
overall: 64¼ x 101¼in. (163.2 x 257.2cm.)
Executed in 2008, this work is unique
Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner.
Trees and Crows: Abbas Kiarostami, exh. cat., Dubai, Meem Gallery, March-April 2009, pl. 206 (illustrated in colour, unpaged).
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Lot Essay

For many years, in his quest to find the perfect film location, notable Iranian photographer and acclaimed film maker Abbas Kiarostami scoped the expanses of the mountains on the Caspian shores, leading him to stunningly desolate areas of Iran, which he spontaneously captured into still images. What resulted was a number of photographic series, namely the Snow White and Crows series, to which the present lot belongs. As immediate reactions to the stimuli of his surroundings, these photographs were never meant to be shown, but when developed, the scenes evoked a magnificent sense of meditative solitude, highlighting the overwhelming impact of nature that the artist was compelled to share.

The present image reflects on philosophical contemplation of the contrast between man and nature; the trees, analogous to growth and life, conflict with the stark white harshness and inhospitality of the snow-filled environment. Kiarostami's play on light and shadows is punctuated with the ever-present image of the small and hapless crow, deeply contrasting against the colossal presence of the trees. Together, their metaphorical reference to the turbulent journey of life and the ultimate fate of humans serves as a reminder of the passage of time and the fate of the future. What results is an eerily painterly-like quality to the work, urging the viewer to transcend the blinkered realm of material, human concerns and embrace the majesty and permanence of nature.

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