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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION, PARIS

Bahman Mohasses
IRANIAN
ELMO ANTICO (ANCIENT HELMET)
前往
48

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION, PARIS

Bahman Mohasses
IRANIAN
ELMO ANTICO (ANCIENT HELMET)
前往

拍品詳情

20th Century Art / Middle East

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倫敦

Bahman Mohasses
1931-2010
IRANIAN
ELMO ANTICO (ANCIENT HELMET)
signed and dated B. Mohasses '69; signed, titled and dated on the reverse 
oil on board
100 by 70cm.; 39 1/3 by 27 1/2 in.
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來源

Acquired directly from the artist by the present owner's mother in the 1970s
Thence by descent 

相關資料

Elmo Antico is an exceptional example of Bahman Mohasses’ life-long exploration of the human condition and its body's disintegration as a result of the carnage of humanist values following the tragedies of World War II. Painted in 1969, Elmo Antico is one of Mohasses’ most complete anatomic variations of extra-terrestrial, anthropomorphic figures, which can be found in numerous paintings and drawings focusing on the subject of the head. Five examples of gouache paintings dissecting the subject matter from the 1960s, similar to the present work, were acquired by Tate Modern. The present work functions as an outstanding performance, with an intense focus on the subject of the head in the background, which resonates with the artist’s oeuvre. It is an excellent example where Mohasses attempts to make the red helmet in the background an allusion to an antique Greco-Roman helmet –an ode to his academic study throughout his artistic career.

The American coup against nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953 led to the dark and difficult times for Iranian artists, poets and intellectuals. The coup instigated a wave of migration for many of the Iran’s intelligentsia who fled to Europe – this was the case for Mohasses, who left for Rome in the early 1950s, accompanied by the prominent Iranian poet, Manoucher Sheybani.

His visits to Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Via Giulia in Rome and his comprehension of Greco-Roman and earlier Etruscan busts are translated into a very peculiar style of “archaic realism” which the viewer can clearly see depicted in Elmo Antico. In all its theatrical dimension, the present work is a wonderful testimony of Mohasses’ contributions to numerous artistic fields across the 20th century. The spatial distribution between the duality is a build up to the theatrical fight between antique versus humanist values; and the existentialist versus the tragic condition which Mohasses also explored through his appreciation for theatre, as in adapting Ionesco and/or Pirandello to the Iranian audience in the 1960s. The helmet, that we see in Elmo Antico, is replicated in the props which Mohasses had also designed himself for the play alongside the clothes for the actors.

Elmo Antico bridges Mohasses’ love for the culture -à l’Ancienne- the Greek sculptural academic body, where the human being is reduced to naught through grotesque malformations and caricatures. Mohasses extracts this Greek essence and projects it onto the canvas through a faceless head. Through this body of work, Mohasses sees himself as a sculptor and not a painter. He substitutes the medium of bronze and stone with a paintbrush and canvas; which results in a dryness and condensation of thick layers across the surface of the head, ensuing a petrification effect. 

Bahman Mohasses’ dialogues concurrently combine pre and post war art masters. From the sculptures of Alberto Giacometti and Henry Moore and African primitivism to Marino Marini’s Italian tradition of anti-modernism and the traumas of fascist aesthetics, it all culminates in a fantasized mythical Greek ideal man and ethnic purity. Mohasses references the ancient Greek aesthetics system of representation which questions the ideal perfect body. Perfection is unattained through a romanticized fragmentation of the body. The emblem of the Greek helmet, used repeatedly by the artist throughout his oeuvre, symbolizes the past, and has a metaphorical association to a monstrous head which defines Mohasses’ tragic view of his present time.  

20th Century Art / Middle East

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倫敦