ABU DHABI ART FAIR 2022: Transience: Tenderness in Fleeting

Manarat Al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi, 16 - 20 November 2022 
Booth M9, Hall M
SARAI Gallery is pleased to announce its participation at Abu Dhabi Art 2022 with "Transience: Tenderness in Fleeting", a group presentation by young Iranian artists Moslem Khezri (b. 1984), Abbas Nasle Shamloo (b. 1983), and Sam Nikmaram (b. 1991), curated with Roxane Zand.
"Transience: Tenderness in Fleeting" consists of paintings and drawings by Abbas Nasle Shamloo and Moslem Khezri, as well as papier-mâché sculptures by Sam Nikmaram. Southern Iranian artist Moslem Khezri holds an MA in painting from Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran. Khezri has for years been exploring the human figure and its interplay with the spaces often brought to life under subtle, natural light. These features are most notable in his more recent series "We Keep Reviewing" and "In Between". Tehran University graduate Abbas Nasle Shamloo, who has been working and living amid the lush nature of northern Iran, is known for his particular approach to landscape painting. His delicate, ethereal vistas often appear in the twilight hours, evoking solitude and a meditative state in the absence or lonesome presence of human or animal figures. Both Khezri and Nasle Shamloo have held several solos and many groups shows including "Let There be Nour" where these two artists had a recent joint exhibition at Cromwell Place, London, as part of the regionally vital Karavan Projects, highlighted in a recent article by Artnet News. Beyond technical mastery and a shared preference for restrained palettes, these internationally emerging artists each offer a different manifestation of fleeting states. Figurative artist Moslem Khezri's paintings and drawings from his ongoing series called "In Between" depict various scenes of immigration: vast airport halls, faces gazing from behind the glass partitions, rows of empty chairs, and the pale light reflected from the icy floors. For Khezri, "In Between" represents "the intersection of humans, places and moments that brings about a realm of coexistence". Moslem Khezri's subtle, intimate scenes channel universal emotions, and his technique involving layers of thinned paint - applied equally in watercolors and oil paint - and intricate pencil hatchings capture the fluidity of time and the evanescence of these tender, in-between states. Abbas Nasle Shamloo's seemingly representational landscapes depict another passing state: nature under the muted and brief yet magical gloaming light. Devoid of any human presence, Nasle Shamloo's imagined landscapes are built on a rich visual memory - thanks to his long observations and direct encounter with nature - involving numerous layers of additions and removals. In these works, a dialogue has been established between the notions of inside and outside, where the viewer's gaze seems to play a part in unraveling each landscape. The absence of direct sunlight and therefore shadows creates a twilight prism that serves as a metaphor for our alienation from nature.
The youngest artist of the trio, Sam Nikmaram holds a BA in sculptor from Tehran University of Art, while a great deal of his art training and experience comes from his diverse collaborations including theater stage design, puppet show design, and urban sculpture among others. Sam Nikmaram's colorful and playful mythological creatures are equally inspired by nature in terms of creative force and a color palette consisting of earth tones, greens, and blacks among other colors. As a counterpoint to the other artists, Nikmaram focuses on wit and the charm of his details: how they can come together to form a new and different whole each time. This is reflected both in his isometric works on paper and the stylized, geometric composition of sculptures of fantastical beasts. Nikmaram's concern with the environment and its transience is reflected in his use of recyclable, mass-produced materials such as bottles and cans to form the structures, and papier-mâché to mold the 'flesh'. Transience here lies at the heart of the artist's creative materiality. Originally born and based in Tehran, Nikmaram has recently settled in France.
 From Nasle Shamloo's beautiful, atmospheric landscapes and Khezri's tender scenes of departure and separation, to Nikmaram's playful, imaginative mythical creatures, "Transience: Tenderness in Fleeting" presents a carefully curated selection from the finest examples of each artist's career.