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خبر و رسانه

56    Hossein Kazemi (1924-1996)

List Of Lots

More Info

Art Title : Untitle

Signed “Kazemi.H 1973” in Farsi (lower left)
mixed media on canvas
162×130 cm
Executed in 1973


3,000 - 4,000 Million IRR

Price realized

5,500,000,000 IRR

About Art Work

At a time when Iranian modernists sought their motifs in tradition, calligraphy, folklore, and antique objects, Hossein Kazemi achieved a unique style in Modernism, the components of which were borrowed from nature. These were the elements that soon formed the famous “rock and plant” and “flower and stone” periods of his work. As the work on display clearly reveals, he has depicted a minimalized landscape on a rough background that seems to have been a fossil for centuries.

It is very likely that Kazemi made a journey into a self-created universe while painting this work. A great overbearing spirit often prevails in his work, giving it a spiritual expression and a touch of Oriental mysticism. Despite consistency of form and subject, Kazemi’s works are often inundated with conflict and polarity. In other words, “flower” and “stone” are either in contrast or in harmony. They obviously correlate in a way that one cannot exist without the other. The stone and flower are the dominant elements in the work respectively. As the work indicates, the rock has embraced the plant. Alternatively, it can be said that the flower is lying within the rock like an embryo. It is as if the rock and flower possess cosmic, unearthly qualities. In other words, it seems that flower and rock emerge from a chaotic pre-existing world, the former blossoming through the latter.[1]

It is said that during the second period of his career from the 1930s onward, Kazemi started stylizing forms to gradually achieve a semi-abstract atmosphere. Motifs and elements of his paintings became more and more subjective. He found an expression when he reached the flower and rock period. He would sometimes place two geometric forms that could be taken as a piece of rock, a flower, and a building in a thick monochrome background of blue and purple. The coarse background of the paintings in contrast with soft fading forms create a polar space, where contrasting forms seek to reach a figurative unity. Rock and flower appear time and again in this period and the contrast between a static and a dynamic element, incites Kazemi to portray in a symbolic way the contrast between the universe and world of human beings. Sometimes the flower inside the rock is still, but gradually starts to find its way out to show off its green leaves. Then the stone is embraced by the plant. This Manichean world turns its contrasts into a desirable essence that reveals the metaphysical quality of matter as color and entangled forms. Apart from the mystic notions of the artist, works gradually establish the issue of materialism, which is a Western doctrine, in the modern world of Iranian painting.[2]

[1] Sattari, Jalal, A Note on the Exhibition of Hossein Kazemi, Culture and Life, vol. 4 & 5, May 1971, p. 103.

[2] Mojabi, Javad, 90 Years of Innovation in Iranian Visual Arts, vol. 2, Tehran, Peykareh, 2016, pp. 303-304.