Ali Banisadr untitled (Black 2) 2008 oil on linen 22" x 32"
Ali Banisadr Prisoners of the Sun (TV) 2008 oil on linen 54" x 72"
Ali Banisadr currently has a show of his latest paintings at Leslie Tonkonow. I can't throw out enough superlatives about this work, for it attributes, both separately and together, of its great beauty, its extraordinary skill, its staggering concept, and its remarkable genesis.
The beauty is dazzling; the skill is only fully evident upon closer examination of the small images on these canvases, when it can be seen that they are composed of what are essentially abstract paint strokes and not really figures; the concept behind their splendor is that they represent (and not quite hide) some pretty horrible scenes of human cruelty; their genesis begins with the artist's childhood in war-time Iran.
The gallery press release has much more:
[the paintings] combine stylistic idioms from the history of western art with references to Persian miniature painting. Underlying the seductive beauty of Banisadrís richly interwoven imagery is the apocalyptic nature of his subject matter. In these works, memory and history collide, inspired by his childhood recollections of the Iran-Iraq War.