Persian Carpet: Solo Show By Dariush Hosseini

29 January - 25 February 2021

SARADIPOUR Art Gallery is pleased to present "Persian Carpet", a series of 12 large-scale acrylic paintings by Dariush Hosseini made in 2016 where he revisits a long-standing artistic heritage with a beautiful yet destructive twist. These hybrid carpet-paintings are being presented to the public for the first time

Persian Carpet: The Beauty of Devastation Persian gardens and Persian Carpet are two essential components of Iranian art and culture. These interconnected, millennia-old traditions are not just testimony to Persians' creativity, technical prowess, and love for beauty but also represent the ideals, world views, hopes, and dreams of a nation. One embodies the idea of heaven on earth, while the other is a manifestation of both the artist's inner and surrounding landscapes. Past or contemporary, it seems that every Iranian artist has been and will be tempted to grow their own garden and weave their own story at some point in their career. Dariush Hosseini's journey to the symbolic realm of carpets first began with the idea of Persian gardens. An admirer of the typical 'bagh-e Irani' or 'Persian garden' both as a place and a significant part of the Iranian philosophy of existence and architecture. They reflect the joy and peace of mind one often finds walking in these paradises on earth, away from the scorching sun. Yet, the artist's subconscious soon took over and the scenery took an ominous tone: images of songbirds and flowers were soon replaced by demons and birds of prey and, insects began invading the space. There came a point where the garden was no more and the canvas was only populated by pests: a swarm of colorful locusts against a dark background. This powerful, symbolic image of death and destruction became the main element, and the core motif out of which the idea of "Persian carpet" was born. A multitude of overlaying locusts turned into the warps and wefts of these painterly 'carpets'. In terms of form and visual development, Hosseini gradually shifted away from his characteristic large, expressive brushstrokes to pick up finer brushes, use a predetermined palette with a dominant color for each work, and limit his forms to one repeated motif to stay true to the structure and formation process of Iranian carpets. The result was a somewhat minimalistic, decorative space with carpet design principles of symmetry and repetition reflected in the repetition of stylized locust figures - all from the side view - and the application of a limited set of colors across the canvas. Subtle traces of Hosseini's expressive touch is also visible in these works, bringing nervous energy and vibration which sets the whole scene into motion as menacing as that of a sea of greedy locusts. Interestingly, while ___________________________________________________________________________________________ Gallery / Office: Los Angeles, CA USA +1 (619) 800 1523 the artist never intended to copy any particular traditional carpet color palettes, several of his paintings bring to mind certain signature color combinations from the rugs made in various Iranian regions: "Persian Carpet No. 7" and "8", for instance, tend to remind us of Kashan and Turkman carpets with their deep blues and reds, while the "Persian Carpet No. 2" and "3" in paler, cooler tints resemble the bright blue, ivory and beige carpets of Kerman and Nain. Hosseini's "Persian Carpets" also follow the carpet weaving tradition in the sense that they reflect the artist's mental and existential state in a metaphoric tone. Taking into consideration modern Iran's critical political and economic conditions and the country's environmental challenges all contributing to nationwide cynicism particularly in recent years, these acrylic carpet paintings offer pathological vistas of political, social, and environmental turmoil. A tale of human conditions told via the iconic image of a locust. "Persian Carpets" after all, have always had a geographic aspect to them, mirroring a carpet maker's landscape, its mountains, trees, flowers, and wildlife woven in their symbolic and emotional colors. Dariush Hosseini's "Persian Carpets" are ambiguous yet potent creations. They are built upon seemingly contradictory values: the visual appeal of a swarm of locusts - appearing flat and three-dimensional at the same time - that have devoured a classical symbol of joy and beauty that is the Persian garden; a scene that, in reality, may have generated a sense of unease and repulsion, has become a colorful, yet thought-provoking feast for the eyes. Moreover, "Persian Carpet" poses as a strong case in the essential role of the title both in the formation and interpretation of a contemporary body of works. It is worth noting that the ban on importing Iranian rugs into the US has been brought back by the Trump administration since 2018, yet thanks to the transcending and liberating nature of art and creativity, Dariush Hosseini's "Persian Carpets" can once again bridge the political gaps and become an ambassador of contemporary Iranian culture and aesthetics.