In Circulation / Un Circulation III
6 June -27 June, 2014

Assar Art Gallery presents In Circulation/Un Circulation III, an exhibition of paintings by Bijan Akhgar.

In Circulation/Un Circulation is the product of the artist’s perpetual fascination with bus since his childhood and his favored theme throughout his professional endeavor since 2007. The series has been executed in three separate collections.

The first period that was exhibited in 2009 can be described more as a formalistic study of a subject the artist was obsessively fascinated about. In the second period that was exhibited four years later, however, the artist detached himself from the visual fascination he had with bus and questioned the aesthetic and theoretic reasons behind such obsession. By digging his childhood memories and recalling the emotional details of his affection, he pictured the feeling and concept of “grandeur” and “glory”- the way he used to experience in watching real coach buses and imagining them as charismatic members of society. Furthermore, in the second period, all physical features of a bus, the relationship between a bus and its surrounding - being a depot, a garage or a road - turned more to aesthetic and conceptual connotations. On the walls of the gallery, bus found a narrative character telling stories of the people of a town, each painting acting as a chapter of a book.

In the current exhibition with 12 works on display, the artist seems to be emotionally detached from the subject and neither treats bus simply as a visually attractive and thought-provoking creature with a subjective nostalgic identity nor a go-between through which glory is artistically experienced and defined. Rather, he portrays his sociological concerns and perceptions by giving bus a human character, placing it in various situations and picturing its actions and reactions, even creating a good and evil presence in some of his canvases. The paintings in his most recent collection have lost their narrative tone and become visually and conceptually independent. He also stresses his social observation by giving each bus a self-invented ironic title similar to and rhyming with the well-known and common transit bus companies, leaving viewers in doubt whether such companies ever existed in the old times or not.

Bijan Akhgar was born in 1964 in Kermanshah, Iran. He holds an MA in Artistic Research and a BA in painting. The current show is his first solo exhibition with Assar Art Gallery. He has held 9 solo exhibitions in Iran and participated in many group exhibitions in the past decade, including the Tehran Fourth Painting Biennial in 1993.