MANSOUR GHANDRIZ | SKULL AND PALETTE
Property from a Distinguished Private Collection, Paris
1936 - 1966
SKULL AND PALETTE
oil on canvas
45 by 59.5 cm.; 17¾ by 23⅜ in.
Executed in 1958.
Please note that consumer cancellation rights do not apply to this lot.
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This work is in good condition. There appears to be a minor paint loss along the lower right edge. There is some minor craquelure and pin points of paint loss along the right edge of the canvas. There is no restoration apparent when viewed under UV light.
The catalogue illustration is very accurate.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
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Estate of the artist
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner in 2014
Mansour Qandriz & Ruyin Pakbaz, Selected Works of Mansour Qandriz, From One Sun to Another, Tehran 2019, p. 93, illustrated / in colour
"To free myself from logic and to arrive at a Self, I have to make use not of the classical but a crazy logic, an ineffable inner logic. It is through this seemingly unreasonable logic that the brilliant and main logic will emerge, whose very foundations are based on imagination. It is through such a window that the self gains power and determination to show its true essence to me."
Mansour Ghandriz cited in: Ruyan Pakbaz, Ed., Mansour Qandriz - Selected Works From One Sun To Another, Tehran 2019
Mansour Ghandriz was born in 1936 in Tabriz; he grew up in that city and studied art with Esmail Bajlanlu. While still in high school, he was drawn to the progressive realist paintings of Ilya Repin (1844-1930), and the late nineteenth century Russian-Armenian seascape painter Ivan Aivazovsky. Later on he was introduced to European modernism and explored the traditions of Russian realists and European classical and figurative art. Having attended the School of Fine Arts and the Kamal-ol Mulk art society in Tehran after moving there in 1954, he found himself as part of the group of artists practicing in what has now become known as the style of the Saqqakhaneh School. He was pivotal in establishing the Talar-e Iran in 1964, an important venue for the growing group of Iranian modernist artists, and he collaborated and interacted with the best known artists of that era. He participated in the 3rd and 4th Tehran Biennials and progressed from incorporating figurative techniques of old masters to his own unique brand of figurative abstraction. During this time he was also deeply influenced by Matisse, Picasso, and Persian miniatures. After his untimely death in 1966, the Talar-e Iran was re-named after him, marking his important role in the growth of the artistic scene of the time. Ghandriz was undoubtedly considered a key figure amongst the creative talents at a time where increasingly artists were referring to their heritage and traditional or folkloric themes and motifs. Prior to his death, he had already turned to executing a unique, iconic semi-abstracted personal style, combining mystical symbols intertwined with traditional and modern elements.
In this beautiful, rare work dating from Ghandriz's early period while he was training at the School of Fine Arts, we see the clear influence of Picasso and the artist's inclination towards experimentation with the skull of a bull. This early period was possibly one where he was at his purest as an artist, striving to find the 'Self' of which he speaks, and coming away from the shackles of his immediate constraints but still remaining within the realm of the realism. Having always considered himself a figurative artist - despite his masterly abstracts - his still lifes and figurative works remain some of his finest. In his own words, "I have faith first in the quest and then in my own human vision, and it is for this reason that I have made painting my torch...If my work is similar to me and filled with my own scent, it will tell of those needs that flow through my Self, this time with borrowed appearances that not even I can identify at times...I am capable of outlining a prayer with forms and colors. Had I been a poet I would've done it through words. Had I been a musician I would have done it with cadences. It is like this that I walk and tread my path to find real peace and it is for this reason that I paint."
Despite his short life, Ghandriz has come to occupy a prominent place amongst Iranian modernists. His works were shown at the 5th Tehran Biennial, at Columbia University's Modern Painting of Iran show in 1968, in Paris in 1973, at Basel in 1976, at TMOCA's Retrospective of Saqqakhaneh Movement in 2003, and at a variety of other group shows.