In his first solo show in Europe, 31 year old Iranian artist Hesam Rahmanian presents a body of paintings that respond with a mordant and mournful wit to the repression and violence inflicted by the current theocratic regime in Iran on the country and its people. Since the beginning of the year, Rahmanian has broadened his scope to include the uprisings and revolutions that have sprung up throughout the Middle East, collectively described in the media as the ‘Arab spring’.
Rahmanian uses the free, imaginative space afforded by painting to construct visual collages, allegories and metaphors that provide an alternative critical response to that provided by the documentary. Instead these fictive spaces allow the symbolic debasement and abuse of those in power. Fluid, gestural and painterly, Rahmanian’s style manifests the spontaneous energy of popular discontent.
Trained in Iran, Rahmanian studied, at different times, under Mohammed Ehsai and Ahmad Amin Nazar. After a period in the U.S. Rahmanian moved to Dubai, where he works alongside a number of other exiled Iranian artists. His first solo show, ‘Hit Me With Your War Tune’ was staged at Traffic, Dubai in 2010.
Rahmanian was recently announced as one of eight finalists for the MOP CAP 2011 that celebrates and promotes Iranian Contemporary Art, and will be showing in a group show of the finalists at the Royal College of Art, London in October 2011.
“Till the End of Dawn” is on from 8 April until 7 May, 2011 at Paradise Row, 74 Newman Street, London W1T 3DB