Janet Rady Fine Art are delighted to present for their inaugural show in their new space at La Ruche in Whitechapel a selection of works from four series by acclaimed Iranian artist Fereyedoun Ave. Each of these works depicts the pre-Islamic wrestling hero Rostam, a character drawn from the Persian poet Ferdowsi's epic Shahnameh (Book of Kings). Using images of a well known contemporary Iranian wrestler or Pahlavan (strong man) to portray Rostam, the artist pays homage to Persian tradition and a particular fondness for the past; the wrestler gloriously embodying these cherished values.
The exhibition of Ave's Rostam works comes at a particularly fortuitous time, as 2010 marks the 1000th anniversary of the writing of the Shahnameh and with such visually arresting images, offers us an opportunity to reflect on the glories of a bygone universal age of chivalry.
The four different series, none of which have previously been shown in London include Ave's most recent Rostam works, Radioactive Rostam (2010), reproduced as limited edition inkjet prints on canvas. In this new series Rostam is depicted amongst lavish blooms, his figure duplicated with multiple arms, reminiscent of supernatural Hindu gods and goddesses, in evidence of Ave's innate spirituality. Yet, as international tensions rise over the development of Iran's nuclear programme, these works also boldly engage with the debate as the artist employs the metaphor of his old symbolic hero depicted in combat with an unknown character.
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