In the work presented here, Hooshang Pezeshknia is using a unique method coupled with his emotions to produce a portrait that can reveal his most important stylistic quality, i.e. an emphasis on Expressionism. Pezeshknia is known to be an emotional painter who, by bold application of expressive colors, creates a visual chaos. Turbulent colors of his works can only be contained by the artist’s smart, smooth drawing in underlying layers. Lines of the work presented in the auction imply the same qualities. Solidity and splendor of lines and drawings is clearly evident even in this work, which is produced by unconventional contrast of colors. Indeed, identity of the picture in view is created through a swarm of lines and an intricate mass of scratches.
In his choice of the expressive mode, Pezeshknia reached such a distinction and individuality that he could be considered one of the most distinguished Iranian modern artists with an expressionist approach. Powerful, astonishing qualities of his work are so evident in Iranian art of the last century as to make prominent figures of Iran’s literature and intellectual movement, including Ibrahim Golestan, Najaf Darya-Bandari and Jalal Al-e Ahmad, write about him. On the importance of Pezeshknia and his work, Al-e Ahmad wrote,
“Modern art in this land will eventually make its path through the work of Pezeshknia.”
His strange life full of upheavals is sometimes compared to that of Vincent van Gogh, in the sense that significance of both was recognized after they died; they both experienced a life full of tension; and both enjoyed strong support of a brother, Theo for Vincent and Iraj for Hooshang.
Given his singular, sometimes unusual, personality, Pezeshknia imposes in many of his works, including the work presented here, a purposefully psychological interpretation. Staring at a blue-faced, gazing man with a long neck, we come to identify with him unconsciously. We follow his gaze in a silent dialog to share an intuitive understanding across this crying blue expanse with the artist.
Escapades of Pezeshknia is quite similar to that of some European modernists in the height of Modernism. In the same way as those who lived in the western culture and triumphantly defied an opposing current, Pezeshknia was way ahead of his time and would not succumb to a structurally academic art. In fact, he speculated and created beyond the achievements of the first generation of Iranian modern artists. Therefore, many art researchers consider him to be a true pioneer of modern painting in Iran.
Not only did he receive attention of art critics and academicians but he achieved an eminent status in the international art market. A similar example of the work shown here was sold for $68,000 at Bonhams auction in Dubai, 2008.