Through planning this ‘Artist Call’, Assar wished to find works by young active Iranian painters within the age range of 25 to 35, to discover fresh new voices and to organise a group exhibition based on the gallery’s visual criteria for its closing exhibition of the Iranian calendar. The exhibition is also a chance for the selected artists to present their works and to be seen in one of Tehran’s most experienced and active galleries.
This ‘Artist Call’ has not aimed to discover and introduce exceptional artists nor it tries to convey a socio-political message, rather it is purely focused on presenting a selection of different viewpoints and variety of techniques by eight independent young artists whom beside what they share generationally have only one other point in common and that is the progression they follow through their visual language.
What has been paid specific attention to in this exhibition is the personal world and individualistic approach of each selected artist. The artists’ creative process, continuity in the intellectual development and the methods of representation have all been central to the final decision in the process of selecting the works.
In this exhibition, Ali Shayesteh presents works from his ongoing series entitled Repetition projecting notions of life and death and the repetitiveness of life as a cycle. Jaleh Akbari’s works from Immortal series are still and stagnant nostalgic images of derelict places that are direct references to fading memories of an uncertain past that have come to life here and now while, Roya Rajai’s The Other City portrays her personal Utopias, futuristic, dreamlike and timeless spaces that may one day be the central stages of what takes place. Alireza Nekoui’s works from his Green series are symbolic references and his personal homage to nature and the damages caused to it by humans. Parham Peyvandi’s Etudes from the City resembles schematic three-dimensional plans but with closer look one realises that they are different from realities of a landscape perspective. In these paintings, the artist has eliminated elements and details and has manipulated visual structures in order to portray a different notion of a cityscape. In her series Parallel Realities Sepideh Behruzian uses art in order to create another life, a way to portray other possibilities in formation of nature and humans. Samaneh Motallebi works from Phyllium series are a symbolic look towards the difference between reality and truth and, in Horror Place Shila Jalil-Piran mixes childhood memories with visual traditions, and cultural nostalgia with indications of today’s life.
In the judging process, beside the gallery team Omid Tehrani and Maryam Majd, Alireza Adambakan, and Pooya Aryanpour both painters and educators have been present. In the first round of judging more than half of the total 538 entries did not make it to the second round. In the second round, nearly 170 artists were selected for the judges to pay closer attention to. In the third round each of the four judges chose between one to thirty artists and in the end 25 artists were selected all together for atelier visits and for their works to be examined from a closer angel. At this stage, judges visited artists’ ateliers and in the end eight artists were selected for this group exhibition.
The exhibition on display is a look at our present time with a vision towards the future.