9 March - 22 May 2017
Meem Gallery presents a rare group of works by Sohrab Sepehri from the early 1960s. One of Iran’s foremost Modernist painters and poets, Sepehri’s work is best known for its natural subject matter and muted palette. In contrast, this collection of paintings and gouache of paper works demonstrate the artist’s often overlooked versatility of form and mastery of colour.
Executed soon after completing extensive travels in Europe, Africa and Asia, the works reflect Sepehri’s exposure to the wider world, most notably drawing on his experiences of working as a print-making apprentice in Tokyo. The artist’s fascination with Japanese culture and philosophy are particularly evident, with elements reminiscent of Zen art and poetry, and its acutely paired down simplicity of form, present throughout.
Contrasting fields of colour overlap against defined backgrounds forming Sepehri’s sophisticated compositions, giving the sense of an unknown quantity of space reaching beyond the limitations of the margins. Bold, confident brush strokes permeate the work with powerful expressiveness, lending movement and depth, and drawing the audience in.
A member of the renowned Saqqakhaneh school, Sohrab Sepehri established his reputation during the 1968 group exhibition at the Pahlavi University. Often referred to as the father of Modern art in Iran, his deeply humanistic nature imbued his artistic practice with a spiritual density which went far beyond the technical aspects of his work.