Sand compositions mark the most important period of Mohsen Vaziri-Moghadam’s career. The present work is an example of this collection. It was produced in 1962, the same year he participated in the 31st Venice Biennale, with a work titled Hands in the Earth. These works have a unique approach to Iranian abstract painting, which the artist produces by combining brown, black and bright sand on canvas. He abandoned representational painting during the 1960s and started experimenting with material, texture, and visual expression on various surfaces. These abstract paintings that are produced by rapid movement of hands are especially inspired by a movement known as informal art.
In his quest for a certain style and personal expression in application of material, Vaziri-Moghadam, as he himself put it, finally succeeded in beaches of Albano Lake (south-east Rome) which was filled with black sand. He remembers, “I took black sand from the beach and covered myself with it to amuse my friends. Marks produced by the movement of my hand on black sand suddenly made me contemplate. A new idea came to my mind. An image of childhood play with the earth appeared before my eyes; the memory of something I had already done. An apparently aimless game suddenly turned into a profound visual experience. I stopped playing in front of the curious eyes of my friends; then took a plastic bag full of sand and returned to Rome. It was a great entertainment to produce forms on sand. However, it took months before I could finally fix the grooves I had produced on the earth on canvas.”
Not only are sand works of Vaziri-Moghadam connected to one of the most significant trends in modern art, but they make a reference to Primitivism. We can even go beyond that and compare them to mural paintings of primitive man painted on the walls of old caves. Therefore, an influence of early abstract art can be traced in the work of the artist. That is why many western critics, including Turco Liveri, Mario Bussagli, and Giulio Carlo Argan, attach so much importance to this period of Vaziri-Moghadam’s career.
Italian critic, Laura Turco Liveri, for instance, writes about his works of this period, “By producing immortal marks and inscriptions on sand, we are imitating, even though in a small scale, the act of God who has imprinted His wisdom on and inside Earth through a meaningful, abrupt movement. Earth discovers that wisdom deep within and reflects it. Then Earth conveys that wisdom through pulses that are consistent with the nature to the root of plants and the earth living organisms tread on and to water that other creatures are immersed in. An abrupt movement for an immortal work on sand is Vaziri-Moghadam’s inspiration and this is where his collection of sand work is created as an expression of his constructive need to connect to a whole, consistent with the nature that is seeking an interconnection with the constant cycle of life. Physical contact of hand with the earth and sand originates in our roots: water and sea. In other words, a gateway is opened through which a vibrant layer of the earth, where plants grow, comes to this world. And this is what we need to seek in sand works of Vaziri-Moghadam.”
 Pioneers of Iranian Modern Art, Mohsen Vaziri-Moghadam, Ruyin Pakbaz and Yaghoub Emdadian, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2004, p.41
 Pioneers of Iranian Modern Art, translation from Italian by Dr. Mansour Falamaki, p8