VOLTA Basel 2021
September 20 - 26
“Wide Shut” is a series of acrylic paintings made between 2016 and 2019 by Iranian artist Dariush Hosseini. Throughout the series, we notice subtle yet perceptible references to nature, sometimes even feel natural forces emanating from the surface of the paintings. However, even though each painting might remind viewers of a specific scene or season in nature, like a dark crushing wave, mountains, or a flower field in spring, the artist has never been particularly interested in representing nature, per se. It was a particular visual quality, “wide-shut” as Hosseini calls it, that he has been pursuing for many years.
The idea behind these paintings consists of diminishing the perspective, bringing forms and motifs to a condition where they are neither figurative nor just abstract, and they can expand beyond the edges of the canvas, giving them an almost decorative quality. This idea comes from Hosseini’ love for Persian miniature and other similar Asian traditions where motifs and flatness play an important role in the image.
“In my more abstract paintings, I have always wanted to find substitutes for my forms in nature and the objective world, and I felt that nature is a subject whose elements can recur throughout the space. The viewer could imagine that as the frame grows bigger, these motifs could replicate and fill the space ad infinitum”, says the artist; like closeups of flowers in a green field, or flower motifs printed on fabric.