Lot 10
  • 10

Farhad Moshiri

70,000 - 100,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Farhad Moshiri
  • Stone of Patience (My Heart has become the House of Sadness)
  • signed, titled and dated 2003 twice on the reverse
  • acrylic, oil and glue on canvas


Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, Zurich
Acquired directly from above by present owner in 2003

Catalogue Note

Born in Shiraz in 1963, Farhad Moshiri has explored the artistic potential of various mediums throughout his successful career. After studying art and filmmaking at the California Institute of Arts (CalArts) he spent several years in America before returning to Iran and producing his Jar Series, which marked his rise to becoming an internationally acclaimed contemporary artist.  He has exhibited extensively on the international level, with major solo shows in Rome, London, and Berlin.  Moshiri’s work frequently combines an understanding of Iranian visual vernacular with wittily satirical references to popular culture, whilst also drawing upon the rich traditions of Iran’s artistic and literary heritage. 

This immense work forms part of Moshiri’s debut Jar Series, one of the most important and instantly recognisable sequences of his career to date. His jars are variously influenced by the amphorae of the pre-Islamic period, namely Sassanian remains, the thirteenth century Seljuk potters in Persia, and the extraordinary archaeological riches of Iran. The creation of the Jars is a painstaking process: the fragility of the craquelure within this piece is the result of Moshiri patiently applying layers of paint before folding and crushing the canvas. Set against a plain white background the viewer is encouraged to consider the object in its entirety and without extraneous distraction. Moshiri’s decision to celebrate a humble utilitarian object marks his commitment to continuity and tradition: “I had picked as a subject matter an object that the first man had made and here I was, thousands of years later, doing the same thing again, despite every revolution, all the changes that had happened.”(The artist cited in: W. Singh-Bartlett, "Farhad Moshiri When Ancient becomes Modern", in: Canvas magazine, Vol. I, No. 5, September/October 2005, pp. 76-79).

Stone of Patience elegantly succeeds in juxtaposing the traditional with modern Iranian culture: the inscription ‘my heart has become the house of sadness’ appears in Farsi twice on the piece, as do the words ‘Stone of Patience.’ Significantly ‘Stone of Patience’ refers to a popular Persian folk tale as well as a controversial literary work produced by the Iranian author, Sadeq Chubak (1916-1998). In this story, the patient stone appears as an anthropomorphic vessel, absorbing the woes of those who confess to it before shattering and emancipating their burdened souls.  Much like the patient stone, Moshiri’s jar has a fragmented quality with its heavily distressed surface, redolent of eons of abandonment within the earth. Yet while the vase with its heart shaped contours denotes a house of sadness, unlike the stone, it remains intact and bound to carry its secrets indefinitely.