Tan-Daj (Body- Very Dark)
30 November -21 December, 2018

Assar Art Gallery presents Alireza Adambakan’s latest works Tan-Daj [Body-Very Dark], his most recent extension of Haftad-o-Du-Tan series.

Originated in 2004, Haftad-o-Du-Tan series [the 72 adherents of Imam Hussein] was the contemporary and personalized version of the famous battle of Karbala, Imam Hussein and his supporters who were all killed in the combat. In the series, the artist depicted his emotional expression, juxtaposed with religious narratives with which he was brought up. Through his dramatic visual language, he portrayed his critical approach towards modern human conditions intermingled with religion and tradition, his two most important sources of inspiration. Progressively, the works developed into a more personified imagery and his visual language included less straightforward religious icons until present that his work is almost emptied from direct representations of Islamic stories, being more self-reflexive.

In his sixth solo show with the gallery, Adambakan exhibits 7 mixed media paintings in which he depicts his personal state of being in a similar contextual representation. He portrays the recent upsurges and diminutions in his life through his signature expressive language employing a vivid and strong palette and powerful brush strokes. What is new in his recent works, is being less faithful to the religious stories he used to choose as his settings and adding more quotidian connotations to his compositions. Mouthless faces, faces with closed eyes, frustrated bodies floating in turbulent waters, layers of sketches and paint over layer all and all imply the artist’s exasperated feelings.

Although his recent canvases might resemble his older ones at first glance, Adambakan’s artistic approach has changed in the course of time and so has his painterly technique. The longer and more confident strokes of brush have turned into shorter yet stronger ones, the sketches of bodies and faces have become sharper and faces have all become one: the artist himself.

Born in 1976 in Tehran, Iran, where he lives and works, Alireza Adambakan received his BA in painting in 1999. He has had eleven solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions worldwide and been part of many art fairs. Adambakan also teaches painting and has collaborated with several art magazines and newspapers as a researcher and writer.