Property from the Collection of Nader Mobargha, Canada
1937 - 2007
signed and dated Leyly '66
oil and acrylic on canvas
120 by 70 cm. 47¼ by 27½ in.
framed: 128 by 78 cm. 50½ by 30¾ in.
This work is in good condition. There is craquleure to the upper part of the body visible only upon close inspection, in line with the age of the painting. There is minute speckling of white pinpoint size paint on the black dress, inherent to the artist's hand. Some minor circular surface imperfection to the mid body, all of which are inherent. There are no signs of restoration under UV light.
Please note the colours in the online catalogue illustration may vary depending on screen setting.
Condition 11 of the Conditions of Business for Buyers (Online Only) is not applicable to this lot.
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. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color 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. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Leyly Matine-Daftary studied at the Slade Academy of Art in London from 1954 to 1959 focusing on figuration but always looking toward abstraction - figuration was a means to this end. Notably, during her time at Slade, Lucien Freud was one of her instructors. Leyly Matine-Daftary went on to become a significant figure in the artistic community and can now be considered as one of the most sought-after female artists from Iran.
Sotheby’s are proud to present this rare portrait from 1966; a stunning example of the style that characterised Matin-Daftary’s earlier portraiture work in the sixties - thick impastos, defined brushstrokes and blocks of colour. Her focus on abstraction, freshness of colour and a simplification of form set her apart from the traditionalist and classic approach to art in Iran, propelled by Kamal Al-Molk. Understood within this context, this work is bold and subtly empowering. Many of her portrait subjects carry with them an object either in hand or alongside them - a flower or instrument for example. Here we see two white birds that beautifully rebalance the portrait and the asymmetrical alternating white and dark blue blocks of colour that make up the background. It is Matine-Daftary’s ability to marry and balance both form and colour in her canvases that make her paintings so striking and exceptional.
There is clarity and intentional simplicity in her work. While her paintings may seem naive in style, they belie a sophisticated understanding of formal structures, evidenced by her masterful manipulation of pictorial space into flat areas.
Although the granddaughter of prime minister Mohammed Mosaddegh, Leyly Matine Daftary’s work, perhaps surprisingly, has no connection to political rhetoric. Rather, her portraits and still-lifes embody an absolute commitment to purifying form and colour, complicating and abstracting space. With her avant-garde work, she succeeded in creating a unique framework of visual imagery which continues to be timeless in its appeal.
Matine Daftary’s work can be found in many private and public collections including Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and Centre Pompidou in Paris.