Lot 33
  • 33

Ali Banisadr

120,000 - 150,000 GBP
197,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Ali Banisadr
  • Creation
  • signed and dated Banisadr 2012 on the overlap
  • oil on linen


Galerie Thaddeus Ropac, Paris 
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2012


Jessica Smith, Emily Jackson and Noura Al-Maashouq, Eds., Ali Banisadr: One Hundred and Twenty Five Paintings, London, 2015, p. 164, illustrated in colour 

Catalogue Note

"I always look for openings, the part of the painting that welcomes me, the part that calls me in. It could be anywhere, and I start from there. And then it becomes a dialogue. Narrative and composition become the dialogue – I put something here and then ask ‘how is it going to work with this thing over here?’ From there it just goes and goes...You just start a conversation with the work and hope to disappear." (Ali Banisadr quoted in: Jonathan Beer, "Conversation with the Unnamed: Ali Banisadr," Art-Rated, January 2012)

Fantastically orientalist and intoxicating, Ali Banisadr’s illuminated masterpieces encourage and reward further examination. Highly biographical and impressively illustrated, his paintings purposefully avoid a central focus point, forcing the viewer’s gaze to scan across the picture plane. Banisadr’s creations display an ethereal realm through bold brushstrokes and delicate detailing, creating a complex narrative upon each canvas that encourages his audience to consider the work both in its detail and as an immersive whole. The artist effectively captures and evokes memories of his experience as a refugee from the Iran-Iraq war; his fantastical abstract sceneries act as a platform for visual remembrance of personal recollections of the conflict and violence observed.

Rendering on canvas the sights and sounds of his childhood memories, Banisadr's work has developed through a prism of art historical references from medieval imagery to abstract expressionism. The artist himself has avowed that the subject matter of his paintings "is based on three things: the history of myself, the history of our century, and the history of art. These things aren't going to change much" (Ali Banisadr quoted in: Jonathan Beer, "Conversation with the Unnamed: Ali Banisadr," Art-Rated, January 2012).

In Creation, Banisadr’s elaborate canvas encompasses various components to create a disorientating terrain filled with vigorous forms, out of scale figures and exotic fauna formed from indulgent dabs of oil paint and luscious smears of pigments and colour washes. Amidst this opulent landscape, Banisadr's painterly brilliance sets the scene for cosmic activity, replicating the chaos of the artist’s childhood memories of violence, confusion and loss. Rendered in rich lavender and grey–colours often associated with miniatures from the Shahnameh: The Book of Kings —Banisadr bathes Creation in a celestial glow.