Born in 1930, Sirak Melkonian is unquestionably one of the pioneers of Modern art in Iran. His works - ranging from early figurative paintings, a striking example of which is lot 84 in this sale, to his acclaimed abstract natural landscapes - explore the basic elements of art, line and colour. Although somehow recluse from the contemporary art world until his recent retrospective in Tehran in 2014, Sirak Melkonian gained recognition as early as 1957 when he was awarded the prize at the Contemporary Iranian Artists exhibition at the Iran-America Society. The following year, Melkonian received the Imperial Court Prize at the Tehran Biennale and in 1959, he was granted the first prize at the Paris Biennale.
His naturalist landscape reminisce the Surrealist and Dadaist compositions, yet they are pure exploration of form, texture and colour rooted in his Persian heritage. A recurrent theme is his fascination with dimensions, the compression and extension of space, but without reference to the familiar. As a result, his work is both emotionally engaging at the same time oddly detached.