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خبر و رسانه

28    Mansour Ghandriz (1935-1965)

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Art Title : Untitle

Signed “Ghandriz” in Farsi (lower left)
mixed media on sacking
91×68 cm
Executed in early 1960s

- Tehran Contemporary, Istanbul Art Fair Catalogue, 2015.


3,000 - 4,000 Million IRR

Price realized

8,500,000,000 IRR

About Art Work

The painting on display, which is a remarkable example of Mansour Ghandriz work, clearly reveals his aesthetic perspective and formal achievements in visual arts; achievements that were common in the work of a number of artists of the 1960s and gave birth to a style known as “Saqqakhaneh School”. However, Mansour Ghandriz is the artist whose name is often seen in the sources that discuss the history of Iranian modern art and conception of the school. At first sight, the work is a formalist composition, but it is inundated with symbols in deeper layers; traditional geometric and symbolic elements that render the work an enigmatic and ritual touch. Combination of circles and intersecting geometric lines permits an interpretation based on visual metaphors. Various antiquated colors play an important role in creating the artist’s favorite atmosphere. As we can see in this painting, Ghandriz has been determined to invent a unique Iranian Modernism with its roots in indigenous traditional elements. Yet, he adhered to the structure of Western modern art. To achieve an original visual expression in his work, Ghandriz diverged from pure abstraction to exploit meaningful original symbols, giving more prominence to line over color.

Ghandriz completed academic studies and a period of experimentation with Impressionism and Post-Impressionism very soon. Although he was more interested in figurative painting at the beginning, Ghandriz gradually started to project his subjects from the background by drawing outlines. A great deal of original drawings appeared in his work when he adopted the style of neo-traditionalism known as “Saqqakhaneh”, but he gradually moved toward pure abstraction. Ghandriz always emphasized a spiritual quality in his art that was rooted in the aesthetic values of Iranian visual tradition. This was perhaps the reason he avoided pure formalism.

Karim Emami commented, “The evolution of Ghandriz’ work over the years could be described as one of absolute freedom from discipline. We are witness to his early ambitious endeavors. His brush knew no boundaries at this stage. A mythical world with no civilization, as it was initially created, as well as fluid dreams, all occupied the mind of this ambitious artist for some time. Nevertheless, Ghandriz descended from the heights of freedom to experiment with something new.

Now Ghandriz seeks beauty at the same pace as other artists. He has discovered the essence of explorations of his predecessors in Iranian art. Didn’t his predecessors also enjoy the beauty of life and fear death thousands of years before, creating art to fight destruction of the body? His endeavors would follow that of his predecessors and pave the way for his successors.

Although the artist drew primitive man to achieve a kind of Surrealism then turned his drawings to motifs and eventually combined motifs, he always had the sun, skies, clouds, and rain at the back of his mind. His heart always beat for that ethereal essence hidden in the skies; this longing had a positive effect on all his paintings. A rainbow with all its seven colors displayed the magnificence that the artist sought. Although it was impossible for Ghandriz to capture the rainbow, such attempts would give birth to art, and art had always conquered death.”[1]

Mansour Ghandriz died at a very young age. During his short lifetime, Ghandriz succeeded in becoming a popular, influential artist. His name is synonymous with a productive effort that yielded results in a short period of time and became immortal. His genius was just as evident in his work as it was in his eyes.

[1] Emami, Karim, brochure of exhibition of Mansour Ghandriz, Burges Gallery, 25 April 1966