About Art Work
A renowned artist among the first generation of Iranian modern painters, Sirak Melkonian began his practice by figurative painting and classical drawing, but experimentations in various styles ultimately lead him to the course of abstraction.
A profound experience of nature achieved through extensive trips around Iran and abroad was marvelously reflected in his paintings; as seen in Untitled, 1977. A trip to Sistan and southern provinces of Iran marked a turning point in his career. In the resulting series of paintings, the stylized landscapes, including deserts, mountains and pale, sun-washed hills might be easily discerned. The untouched landscapes of Sistan, Chabahar, Jusk and other southern towns, alongside the colourful pottery motifs and textures of the region, find a central place in his imagery. These motifs later develop into what makes Melkonian’s signature style: flattened shapes separated by strong borders rendered with a limited palette.
Untitled, 1977 displays a minimalistic and intuitive approach to nature. Its structure, resembling a skeletal form, best exemplifies Melkonian’s mature style. The continuation of this process in his career will leads to a total exclusion of human and any other organic forms, resulting in the ‘vibration’ series which might be best described as a musical, rhythmic intuition in the realm of abstraction.
Unique and highly personal, Melkonian’s conception of modernism is far from essentialism. His notion of abstraction, as exemplified here, leaves some traces of natural world and arranges them into a cubist-inspired, geometrical composition. His mastery in interconnecting various scattered elements into a coherent and articulate grid leads to his highly pure and harmonic plastic expression.