Negative Space
25 April -30 May, 2014

Assar Art Gallery is pleased to present Negative Space, a solo exhibition by Ahmad Morshedloo. In his third solo show with the gallery, the artist showcases 12 portraits of his latest series created in his illustrious ballpoint pen technique.

In this show, Morshedloo continues to explore social issues and the impact they have on individuals and portrays doubt and uncertainty that he considers to be the general mood of his society at this point in history.  

In his recent body of work, the artist furthers his focus on individuals and by extracting them from the crowds for which he is famed and placing them all alone in same-size frames and neutral settings, he accentuates individuality and aggrandizes the feeling and mindset of the members of the society he had previously portrayed. The exhibition comprises portraits of people of different age and sex who all have a fixed gaze on the horizon, as if they are frozen in a shared moment of ambiguous indecision.

Throughout his career as a social painter, Morshedloo has always emphasized modern man’s social and intellectual alienation as a result of his contemporary living conditions. For a whole decade, he documented the Iranian society in which he has deep roots. He first started mirroring his social surroundings by creating paintings of tight crowds of people, each looking at a different direction, titled the Crowd series that found International recognition. Using various techniques, he also created large oil canvases at the same time, portraying the people with whom he was in close tie, mostly in their private spaces, and carried on with examining the changes his society went through. Subsequently he created his large disproportionate sleeping figures in oil and pen known as Sleep series, and perfectly rendered social numbness. Soon after the controversial 2009 elections, he started on making huge polyptcyhs in pen, showing enthused people, as opposed to the benumbed ones, who were all looking down of embarrassment. During the past three years and concurrent with the making of these grand artworks, he also painted the portraits that are displayed in this exhibition where he confronts his audience with faces emptied of any emotion, staring at them without even seeing them.

Ahmad Morshedloo was born in 1973 in Iran where he continues to live and work. His work has been extensively shown in Iran as well as in International museums such as the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum and the Berlin Pergamon Museum. He has also been part of International Art Fairs and exhibited at private International galleries in the UK, Japan, Germany, USA, and China. In addition to being part of some reputable private collections, his works are included in the collections of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Imam Ali Museum and the Saatchi Collection.