Ayyam Gallery Beirut presents “Against the Darkness”, the solo exhibition of leading Iranian calligrapher and painter Mohammad Bozorgi.
Selected from the artist’s recent series, Coloured Tears, Grey World, the featured works were produced in response to regional conflicts, and describe the impact that such widespread destruction has on the global community. Bozorgi’s latest body of work also serves as an exploration of colour and the high level of abstraction that can be realised when calligraphic forms are freed in complex compositions.
In an accompanying statement, Bozorgi describes the artist’s role of depicting the world as he or she observes it. According to the painter, references to everyday life in art are a form of translation that materialises even in certain uses of colour. In Coloured Tears, Grey World, the concept of darkness, or the decline of living conditions into a constant state of despair, is countered with colour in protest of ‘lost dreams’ and ‘lost lives.’ At the same time, Bozorgi seeks to inspire a sense of hope in viewers by alluding to a world shaped by beauty, peace, and tranquility.
The radiant palette of “The Velvet of Your Eyes” (2015), for example, creates a shimmering effect, as abstracted text rendered in red appears to dance against a blue background. The fluid shapes of stylised letters gravitate towards the centre of the composition, orbiting around a circular mass that is composed of mirrored words, forming a sunburst. Bozorgi’s rotating calligraphic text coalesces with his vivid colour scheme in order to suggest a source of energy and brilliance. “The Velvet of Your Eyes” (2015) shows the artist using the elegant gestures of calligraphy to suggest movement, as words become anthropomorphic forms.
Other works such as “The Route of Creation” (2015) engage the spiritual nature of the written word in Islamic art while incorporating the illusionistic techniques of contemporary forms abstraction. By manipulating positive and negative space with a mosaic like composition where text is broken then reconfigured in blue and red clusters (perhaps in reference to the water and blood of the human body), Bozorgi creates the optical illusion of regenerating forms, a space where creation has no beginning or end.