Details & Cataloguing

Boundless: Dubai


Farhad Moshiri
B. 1963
signed and dated F. Moshiri 2001
acrylic and glue on canvas 
178.5 by 255.5cm.; 70 1/4 by 150 1/2 in.
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Acquired directly from the artist in 2002 

Catalogue Note

With an oeuvre as extensive as his artistic reach, Farhad Moshiri has seen his career garner both local and global acclaim. His works are indeed varied, but embedded in them all is a creative spirit that upholds the visceral beauty of form. It is his penchant for experimenting with surfaces that, almost ironically, compel us to search for meaning; for something deeper in and under the physical layers.

This stunning work was part of Moshiri’s first exhibition in 2001 in Tehran. It marks the beginning of Moshiri’s exploration of Abjad’s physical and symbolic significance. It is a foundational piece which pre-empts the series of sinuous numbers and letters for which Moshiri became so well known. The artist reinterprets the traditional Persian calligraphic practice sheets widely mastered during the Safavid dynasty by calligraphers and their students.

Untitled's scale and the repetition of its lettering are meditative, but its minimalism lends a quiet irreverence – a lightness to a work that may be prone to deeper, cultural readings.  Although Moshiri’s works naturally draw on Eastern and Islamic aesthetics and can stand, to some as vessels of cultural hybridity or markers of ethnic duality, they above all, celebrate form as a conduit to the cerebral. Moshiri himself was not familiar with the exact meaning of his letters nor the significance of their numbers.  Rather, it was the allure of the hidden meanings and dormant secrets imbued in their contours or written into their lines that became so deeply exciting.

While his technical skill is evident, it is Moshiri’s vision (both conceptually and artistically) that differentiates him from his contemporaries.  His ability to transform space and manipulate textures and forms found natural, creative outlets in interior design projects. It was Moshiri’s refined sense of aesthetics and materials that led acclaimed gallerist Rose Issa to sponsor him, allowing him to explore unencumbered, all the possibilities of his art.

His work distills a particular approach to the world, one that carries with it a certain mystique and charm. Whether we imprint this piece with our own cultural or philosophical backstories, what remains is that Moshiri’s work facilitates a desire to find harmony –something essential imbedded in our universal consciousness.

Boundless: Dubai