Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari (b. 1940)
ink on cardboard
Executed in 1998
- About Art Work
Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari is a master of Iranian modern art whose simplicity and romantic quality of work invites the audience to detach itself from the surrounding world and drift into a more intimate universe. A lyrical world of lived experience is embedded in every single movement of his brush that slides across the canvas in a “moment” of creation. Jafari is passionate about Iran: he is attached to Iran’s history of architecture, mud walls, memories, and poetry and yet, he is profoundly devoted to principles of modern and abstract art.
A student of masters such as Ali Mohammad Heydarian and Mahmoud Javadipour, Jafari is mostly inspired by the vision of Mohsen Vaziri Moghaddam who was back from Italy and teaching at university, at the time Jafari was a university student. According to Jafari, the trips he would make along with Vaziri Moghaddam and other students to different regions of Iran taught him how to look carefully at his surroundings to develop his perception of space. One may suspect that indigenous spaces in Jafari’s work are possibly inspired by such visits.
In the present work, however, abstraction makes it hard for any familiar form to appear. The brush is dancing on the paper and the resulting patches are the only impressions of the drifting mind of the artist.
The world of Jafari’s work is one of personified poetry. He is a born poet, and his paintings are as succinct and mysterious as his poetry. Painting to Jafari is an embodiment of sentiments as well as a portrayal of the painter’s perception of time, which has a dynamic quality preventing one from remaining still in time and stripping sentiments of their fluidity. While many may only fleetingly recognize such concepts, it is evident that this artist has been able, not only to conceptualize the moment, but to depict it. In this work, Mohammed Ebrahim Jafari is giving us a poem of transience.
In the present work, the interaction of light and shadow combined with the diagonal firm steady lines in the middle of the picture provides a new interpretation of geometry and “happening”. A few patches of blue, red, and green complement the picture by inducing additional illusion. Turquoise color, popular in Persian art, is a reminder of the art of calligraphy when juxtaposed with inky brown.
Jafari makes extensive use of watercolor and ink in many of his paintings, as dazzling and intertwining pale colors can combine to take the audience on a journey to the romantic dream of the painter. A major characteristic of this poet painter is his personal, nostalgic interpretation that creates a consistent whole by avoiding details. Poetry is associated with painting in the world of Mohammad Ebrahim Jafari and knowledge of his poetry facilitates a better understanding of his paintings.