Opening on 9 March 2016 in London’s Mayfair, Sophia Contemporary is a new gallery showcasing contemporary art from the Middle East with a current focus on Iran. Founded by Vassili Tsarenkov, Lali Marganiya and Lili Jassemi, the gallery’s inaugural exhibition showcases a series of new paintings by the artist Reza Derakshani, one of the most celebrated living Iranian artists.
Derakshani will present new works from a range of ongoing series including the Hunting series. Whilst Derakshani’s practice is grounded in Iranian artistic traditions, his generous brushstrokes reveal the influence of the textured surfaces from Western abstract art movements. The fusion of Eastern artistic traditions and contemporary art movements from the West create an idiosyncratic oeuvre at the confluence of both cultures. In this exhibition he brings together nostalgic reflections on the history of his Iranian identity with contested notions of migration, displacement and modernity.
A young prodigy, Derakshani held his first solo show at the age of 19 at the Ghandriz Art Gallery in Tehran, going on to exhibit internationally. His work features in many public art collections including the British Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and the Brooklyn Art Museum.