Visual Dialogues: Behjat Sadr and Nazgol Ansarnia is the first of a new series of exhibitions juxtaposing different artistic generations and aesthetics, encompassing the ethos of Total Arts.
The work of these two artists, separated by time, works very much in tandem, presenting a journey from one century and one dimension into the next.
The late Sadr was a pioneer within the Iranian art scene, and her subtle approach to three-dimensional and kinetic work, alongside her multimedia collages, were innovative and groundbreaking. A new surge of interest in her rich and varied artistic practice is in part due to the admirable publication Traces, alongside Mitra Farahani’s documentary Behjat Sadr: Time Suspended. Many of the works in this mini retrospective are being exhibited for the first time, allowing viewers an unprecedented chance to become familiar with the works of one of Iran’s most innovative artists.
Two generations later, Ansarinia is also a pioneer, continuing Sadr’s legacy with a 21st century aesthetic. The exhibition presents examples of her various periods of research, presenting a survey of the artist’s minimalist approach into three-dimensionality and her meticulous attention to detail and craftsmanship. Her work has become known for its ability to transform and use space as well as its subtle aesthetic.
Behjat Sadr (1924 – 2009) was the first female contemporary painter to be considered on the same level as her male contemporaries in Iran.
Sadr began her studies at the University of Tehran faculty of Fine Arts, after her graduation, she won a scholarship to the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome and in 1957, Sadr returned to the University of Tehran as a member of faculty.
Sadr’s first major exhibition was at the twenty-eighth Venice Biennial in 1956. Her works have been exhibited in major cities across the world, such as New York, Paris, and Rome.
Nazgol Ansarnia (b. 1979, Iran) is a multidisciplinary Iranian artist. Working in a variety of media, her subjects determine the medium she chooses.
Trained in design in London before completing an MFA at the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco in 2003 before returning to her native Iran.
Ansarnia’s practice is inspired by rhythms, routines and systems, which are interwoven and concealed in our daily activities.
Her works are included in many international collections and publications and has won prestigious awards among them Abraaj Capital Art Prize in March 2009.
- Behjat Sadr, Oil on paper and photo collage, 1985;. Courtesy of the artist and Total Arts