SARAI Gallery (SARADIPOUR) in 2021, A Retrospective

In its third year, SARAI Gallery (SARADIPOUR) managed to take a big step towards its goal of discovering emerging talents and exhibiting their work alongside established artists on the international art scene with the help of a group of elite international curators and critics as well as a close collaboration with artists.
SARAI started 2021 with "Persian Carpet", a solo show by the prominent Iranian artist and teacher Dariush Hosseini. Hosseini used his own semi-abstract visual language in this series to examine today's social and political issues. Examining social issues using a symbolic language was also a theme in the "The Land of No Sun" exhibition. As the second collaboration of the SARAI Gallery with this young artist, Abbas Nasle Shamloo's latest eerie landscapes were publicly shown in this exhibition. Our gallery also hosted sculptures by Mahdieh Abolhasan, the winner of Khor 2020 - the first year Khor Art Initiative was held as a response to COVID restrictions. In the summer of 2021, the second Khor Art Initiative was held. This time, the applications were judged by a jury consisting of prominent figures active in Middle Eastern and international art (Anna Wallace Thompson, Lee Ann Biddle, Lila Nazemian, Max Presneill, Murtaza Vali, and Roxane Zand), and Ali Saeedi was eventually chosen as the winner. A collection of the works by the selected artists of Khor 2021 was shown during two different exhibitions in November and December which were well received by artists and visitors alike. Eventually, two solo shows marked the end of the year; The first one was a selection of works by Shiva Noroozi, one of Khor 2021's top artists, in her first solo show called "The Sounds of Silence", which was held from December 17 until January 5, 2022. Simultaneously, a selection of Abbas Nasle Shamloo's recent visual experiences were shown in Tehran in a collaboration between SARADIPOUR Art Gallery and INJA Gallery as the first exhibition of the "Karavan Projects".
Among SARADIPOUR Art gallery's international activities in 2021 was its return to Art Dubai for the second time. A selection of works from the "We Keep Reviewing" series by promising young artist Moslem Khezri was shown at the fair and well-received by visitors and art critics alike. Art Dubai ended with one of Moslem's works becoming part of the "Dubai Collection". Khezri's works enjoyed an equally warm reception during his solo appearance at The Armory Show 2021 where SARAI gallery's presentation of his works received the Armory Presents Booth Prize.
East Asian art enthusiasts also had a chance to get to know Iranian artists better this year. As one of the pioneers of introducing Middle Eastern art to the Far East, SARADIPOUR Art Gallery had an active presence turned heads both at JING Art and KIAF SEOUL. During JING Art, several works from "The Sons of God" - aka, "The Eliminated"- series by Ali Zakeri were presented to an international audience for the first time. At KIAF 2021 in SEOUL, a selection of works from the "Wide Shut" series by Dariush Hosseini caught everyone's attention, some of which joining collections of a private museum in Korea. Near the end of 2021 SARADIPOUR Art Gallery was invited to ASIAN Now: Paris Asian Art Fair to which our gallery brought a group presentation of selected works by Ali Zakeri, Moslem Khezri, and Abbas Nasle Shamloo.
SARADIPOUR Art Gallery is still committed to supporting young artists in 2022 and will pursue the objectives to provide an equal opportunity for Middle Eastern artists to be seen both nationally and globally and to become a platform for their international growth through continuing Khor Art Initiative as well as holding exhibitions in the gallery's main space in Mahshahr or other cities.

December 31, 2021
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