Nasrollah Afjehei (b. 1933)
acrylic on canvas
Executed in 2015
- About Art Work
Nasrollah Afjehei’s works, of which the present one is a remarkable example, are characterized by fluid, twisted and flexible surfaces that consists of a mass of inscriptions. They are outstanding works of art with a remarkable sales records in recent auctions.
The work on display follows the tradition of calligraphy-painting and highlights the visual significance of writing, regardless of the meaning of the words, to remind us of the tradition of calligraphy practice. Repetition of letters, introduction of shadows, and use of different sizes of letters and the way they are arranged to induce perspective, are only a few qualities of works of calligraphy-painting of recent decades that are evident in this work. Calligraphic elements in some instances tend to represent a certain form. They appear in the form of locks of hair or waves on the ocean in some of Afjehei’s works.
What are mostly evident in his work are long, fine threads that create an undulating ocean of letters once they join together. These threads that are produced by differing sizes of calligraphy pens are condensed twisted forms of lines that no longer represent writings but a painting. Calligraphy and “sequence” are interconnected by nature. Combination and compression of the intertwined threads help him to shape the surfaces in order to be able to convey fluidity. He prefers sequence over letters and words, twisting it to whatever direction he wishes.
Other artists of his generation who discovered this capacity have created such a “fluidity” in bouncing or swirling forms. Afjehei, however, is engaged in a secret romanticism that shows him spellbound by dance-like moves. Similar to other artists of his generation, Afjehei distanced himself from tradition as a result of a change in tastes in contemporary art. Nevertheless, an attention to classical aesthetic standards and calligraphic rules is omnipresent in the work of Afjehei and other pioneering artists of his generation. In fact, success of these experiments is very much indebted to an adherence to traditional methods. From this perspective, Afjehei admirably connects Persian calligraphy to Western abstract painting.