Indigenous abstraction and wild natural colors, with no limitations placed on patterns: these are FaridehLashai’s legacy to Iranian art. Fantastic snippets of life, of nature and of growth are re-created in her work, thereby permitting her paintings, in unison with nature, to evoke recurrent spring and continuity. The diptych on display here epitomizes these traits. The colors in this piece generate a moving energetic expression which, in contrast to the soft, thin lines that occasionally stray from this dimension of color, emphasizes both the harmony and the deceptiveness of nature. When we look closely, hidden behind this mystical landscape we can see ancient trees standing between the mist and the bright sunlight.
In FaridehLashai’s paintings, we observe the trees and landscapes of her mentor SohrabSepehri, causing our gaze to alternate back and forth between the abstract and concrete forms of nature. In her abstract works, such as this one, lines take on a visual value, in such a way that a sort of optical illusion occurs. These strong, flowing lines momentarily distance the work from its absolute abstraction. Lashai has a conceptual and non-descriptive view of nature, and it is for this reason that the quality or even type of tree is of no import in her work. It is the concept of ‘tree’ and its visual energy that is relevant.
The most distinctive expression of nature in Lashai’s work is the whirlwind of unrestricted lines on the lower sections of her canvas which resemble an infinite chaos of mystical forms. In terms of quality, the overall impact of her work on the viewer is a strong sense of its similarities to nature and its propensity to reveal the inner emotions of the artist. The image vibrates due toLashai’s unrestricted brushstrokes and unharnessed lines, thereby permitting us to see into the inner labyrinth of her mind, which is both mesmerizing and alarming. Essentially, this joyful and, to a certain point, subconscious behavior equates to giving oneself over entirely to the canvas, rather than constantly attempting to control the process. The result is a type of reflective painting similar to abstract expressionism or its fundamental rendition. Furthermore, this painting presents itself to the observer in such a way as to increase perceptions and feelings. Contact is thereby established between the artist’s subconscious and the observer’s imagination. It is this aspect in particular that makes viewing Lashai’s paintings feel like a joyous return to our childhood, a time when we made maximal use of our imagination and creativity, without exploiting them for professional gain. Simply stated, the style of these passionate paintings transports us beyond the subject matter, propelling us closer toward the artist’s heartening emotion of hope.