Gagosian Presents the Fictive Architecture of Iranian Artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Mehdi Ghadyanloo is an Iranian painter, sculptor and printmaker best known for surreal renderings that draw on his childhood experiences with war and displacement. Between the years of 2004-11, Ghadyanloo created more than a hundred trompe l’oeil murals on buildings throughout Tehran and became the first artist since the 1979 Iranian Revolution to be commissioned in both his native country and its geopolitical foe, the United States.

Gagosian is presenting a smaller series of his canvas studies at its 976 Madison Avenue location. The self-titled exhibition showcases Ghadyanloo’s fictive architecture in full force — playground slides, tubes, and ladders — all created with a masterful touch of chiaroscuro that accenuates the reflectivity of the materials depicted.

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These imaginative playgrounds are created through a nostalgic recollection of carefree play, along with the tensions of the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) which he grew up in. Like many Iranians, Ghadyanloo carried a trauma that forced him to migrate elsewhere in search of work and a new home. The artist subtly makes reference to these experiences through structures that appear joyous and inviting at first sight, but are complicated by their incompleteness — whether a missing ladder or an abrupt dead-end.

The geometry of each composition is also inspired by Iran’s rich traditions of painting, architecture, literature, and decorative arts, such as his mother’s weaving he observed as a child.

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The exhibition comes at a time when Iran and much of its neighboring countries are celebrating the new years celebration, also known as Nowruz. Be sure to catch “Mehdi Ghadyanloo” as its on view at Gagosian until April 23, 2022.

In related news, FISK unveils the Nowruz 1401 collection.

Gagosian
976 Madison Ave.
New York, NY 10075
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