About Art Work
Behjat Sadr demonstrates a subtle tendency towards an Iranian local ambiance in some of her paintings, a trend which aligns her inadvertently in alliance with some of her contemporaneous artists who more resolutely took on local subjects. This is exemplified in the present painting, Untitled, which is suggestive of an aerial view of plowed fields in Iran. It belongs to a period in the artist’s career in which the intensity of the layers of dark pigment is diminished, and the underlying background becomes more apparent. Contrast between the background and the coloured surface results in the interplay of negative and positive space. A range of complementary colours create various shapes and motifs suggestive of organic forms though not in a representational manner. A reflection of exterior arrangement of images in the artist’s mind is rendered in personal symbols and motifs on the canvas plane. The development of colour and composition in Sadr’s work follows a stable course based on a Modernist logic. The use of wood panel, aluminum sheet or window shades as support reveals a concern for new, non-classical painting material.
Brown, black and gray shades dominate Sadr’s paintings, as seen in Untitled. Geometrical motifs painted in scarlet red severely contrast the cold background as if a glowing flame is burning in the centre of the painting. Everything radiates in an otherworldly light, like the colours are reflected directly from the sky onto the painting surface. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Behjat Sadr does not undertake a hasty attempt to localize her work. That’s why her style has often been associated with the Abstract Expressionist tendency.
Behjat Sadr was a significant figure both as a Modern and progressive artist and an influential figure in the field of art education. Early in her career she won the first prize in the Third Tehran Art Biennial in 1962. She was appointed the head of the Department of Plastic Arts in the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Tehran.