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خبر و رسانه

11    Bahman Mohassess (1931-2010)

List Of Lots

More Info

Art Title : Still Life

Signed “B.Mohassess 69” in English (lower left)
oil on canvas
65×100 cm
Executed in 1969

Christie’s Catalogue, Apr. 2008, Dubai.


5,000 - 7,000 Million IRR

Price realized

8,500,000,000 IRR

About Art Work

In creating his still lifes, Mohassess, to whom still life of Iranian Modernism is truly indebted, has cleverly taken a look at the major movements in Western art of the 20th century. The final product, however, would be one of elegant personal appropriation. No Iranian modernist, except for Mohassess, approximated the famous works of Paul Cézanne in terms of composition. Mohassess’ perspective in this work is a tribute to the legacy of Paul Cézanne, while he displays a unique personal style in the application of paint. The idea of playing with the art history was a clever idea that Mohassess applied to his work. Some of his compositions are inspired by Cézanne and Picasso, while he borrows the mysterious world of Giorgio de Chirico and bottles that are considered typical of Giorgio Morandi’s paintings. Nevertheless, Mohassess was neither of these. Despite recurring formal references to the art of the 20thcentury, the world that Bahman Mohassess created possessed a profound spirit of the 15th and 16th centuries. He defined solidity in painting and sculpture in the same way that magnificent Roman and Florentine works displayed. Bahman Mohassess considered himself an artisan rather than an artist.[1] Thus he offered to a modern audience a definition that went beyond the ordinary concept of the term, enhancing the understanding of still life of the audience.

Technique, application of color, and background are major qualities in the work of Bahman Mohassess which have gotten short shrift in research and criticism as his iconoclastic personality in Iranian Modernism received even more attention compared to his technique and style. As the work on display indicates, color in the work of Mohassess has a material quality in such a way that it exerts a huge gravitational force on visual elements of the work and fixes them on the canvas. Elements such as bottles, fish, and pale apples have assumed a statue-like metamorphosed appearance to be considered an old heritage of thousands of years. A documentary on Mohassess clearly shows how he painted the background of a work using thick hard brushes and how he finished the painting with the same thick brush.[2]

[1] Bahman Mohassess defines artisan in a conversation with Ahmad Reza Ahmadi, Mohsen Taher Nokandeh, Morteza Momayez, and Sirous Tahbaz in 1994. For a transcript of the conversation, please visit

[2] A documentary titled The Eye That Hears, 1967, produced by Ahmad Qarouqi Qajar