Grabbling: Solo Show By Abbas Nasle Shamloo / Karavan Projects

31 December 2021 - 14 January 2022

Palidan /pɒlidæn/ (original Persian title): groping; grabbling; looking for something blindly, using one's hands and fingers. This old Persian word is still commonly used in the artist's birthplace in the Khorasan Province. The present exhibition consists of works from Abbas Nasle Shamloo's recent series, "Beyond Alienation", "The Land of No Sun" and a new series of works; a painting-anddrawing collective which the artist began creating several years ago after moving to the lush, clouded, and ancient nature of northern Iran. Abbas Nasle Shamloo has been known for his particular approach towards the longstanding genre of landscape art; Quiet, somber urban and natural landscapes surrounding small, lonely animal or human figures who appear stranded and vulnerable. "Grabbling" showcases the evolution of Nasle Shamloo's art in the past couple of years as human figures begin to vanish from his landscapes, their presence only echoed in dark, derelict man-made structures and certain framed views, giving a sense of viewing the scene through someone's eyes from behind a window ("Beyond Alienation"), and vast, shadow-less vistas full of bare trees and over-grown vegetation suggest the grim absence of sunlight ("The Land of No Sun"). More significantly, these seemingly representational landscapes are born out of the artist's imagination and built upon many layers of additions and removals. Without any preconceived ideas or sketches, Nasle Shamloo begins each work from scratch, relying instead on the actual painterly process, his memory, and the sensual experience of direct contact with nature to achieve the final image. His paintbrush acts like fingertips, constantly moving around, grabbling, as if scratching the surface to rediscover and recreate that essence of encounter with nature. The title, therefore, suggests a relentless tactile and mental aesthetic search both for form and meaning, a yearning for something that feels close yet remains elusive; that long-lost, vital link between nature and the alienated modern human.