Color and line attain visual eloquence in the work of Mansoureh Hosseini simultaneously. However, the present work is a notable example of her figurative works in which, simple juxtaposition of limited colors and prominent lines are visible. More than approaching stylistic rules, Mansoureh Hosseini’s figure of Reed Player exploits a personal expression to expose the mood of the player and, more importantly, emotional state of the painter, enjoying a painterly treatment and a dominant blue shade. Despite their simplicity and little diversity, colors are truly presenting the expressive style of the artist.
Mansoureh Hosseini created these works at a time when many Iranian modern artists showed interest in creating indigenous themes and icons in a modern form. As she was living in post-war Italy during this period, her work was undeniably affected by new approaches to Expressionism and abstract art. Nevertheless, personal concerns of the artist coupled with a mind influenced by Persian mysticism made her create works that were manifestations of both western and Iranian art and thinking. The painting here is the famous reed player, Hassan Kasaei, while she portrays Hallaj’s “I am God!” and abstract curves that allude to cursive calligraphy.
Mansoureh Hosseini is a well-known artist, neither because she was among the first Iranian artists who participated in Venice Biennale nor because she was among those who introduced Persian calligraphy or similar forms into Iranian modern art for the first time. Her importance lies in the fact that she artistically strikes a balance between color and non-geometric lines. She is purposefully avoiding, as in the presented work, any geometric forms in the foreground and background even in her figurative works.
She adopted a more or less similar style both in her figurative and abstract periods. Ruyin Pakbaz, painter and art historian, writes, “We know Mansoureh Hosseini as a painter who has always practiced both figurative and abstract painting parallel with one another. She makes use of the modern visual tradition of the west in painting of flowers, landscapes and portraits, while in her abstract and semi-abstract compositions, Hosseini is noticeably inclined to Iranian traditional elements such as rhythmic calligraphy and curves. What basically connect these apparently conflicting approaches are a poetic feeling, knowledge of painting, and her admiring ability to choose and arrange colors.