Ali Banisadr Ali Banisadr

Ali Banisadr

Iranian
b. 1976
/

Overview

'I want my paintings to have that feeling of metamorphosis, where you're looking at things becoming something else. Because that's the truest mirror of imagination and memory and dreams – things are always changing.'

In his paintings, Ali Banisadr creates intangible worlds in which figuration and abstraction are delicately balanced, creating a rhythmic sense of motion in vibrant colours across the canvas. Influenced by the experience of synaesthesia, whereby his senses of colour and of sound are intertwined, he translates this internal state into visual terms. The enigmatic figures that populate his works are often imagined hybrids that stem from the artist's fascination with mythological creatures and embody the constantly shifting identities of our increasingly digital world. While these fantastical scenes are anchored in the lineage of art historical figures, such as the Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch, they also resonate strongly with the world we live in today.

The restless surfaces of Banisadr's paintings combine competing sensibilities, setting areas of orderly, precise brushwork against energetic, gestural ones. This creates a sense of restless motion and even conflict across the canvas, as if the entire composition is in the process of metamorphosis. He does not allow any focal point or central protagonist to emerge, instead creating a multiplicity of figures that overlap and coalesce. The artist once remarked that his childhood memories, notably of the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, were a mix of images, half abstract and half recognisable forms. Banisadr explains that he 'became fascinated with all histories of war, conspiracies, colonialism and corruption.' This interest in the functioning and breakdown of systems – whether political, cultural or historical ­– is reflected in complex painted structures in which different elements intermingle and collide.

In his paintings, Ali Banisadr creates intangible worlds in which figuration and abstraction are delicately balanced, creating a rhythmic sense of motion in vibrant colours across the canvas. Influenced by the experience of synaesthesia, whereby his senses of colour and of sound are intertwined, he translates this internal state into visual terms. The enigmatic figures that populate his works are often imagined hybrids that stem from the artist's fascination with mythological creatures and embody the constantly shifting identities of our increasingly digital world. While these fantastical scenes are anchored in the lineage of art historical figures, such as the Renaissance painter Hieronymus Bosch, they also resonate strongly with the world we live in today.

The restless surfaces of Banisadr's paintings combine competing sensibilities, setting areas of orderly, precise brushwork against energetic, gestural ones. This creates a sense of restless motion and even conflict across the canvas, as if the entire composition is in the process of metamorphosis. He does not allow any focal point or central protagonist to emerge, instead creating a multiplicity of figures that overlap and coalesce. The artist once remarked that his childhood memories, notably of the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq war, were a mix of images, half abstract and half recognisable forms. Banisadr explains that he 'became fascinated with all histories of war, conspiracies, colonialism and corruption.' This interest in the functioning and breakdown of systems – whether political, cultural or historical ­– is reflected in complex painted structures in which different elements intermingle and collide.

Born in Tehran in 1976, Banisadr moved to California with his family when he was a child. While living in San Francisco, he studied psychology and became involved with graffiti art. He has lived and worked in New York since 2000, when he moved to the city to study at the School of Visual Arts and the New York Academy of Art. Since his first solo exhibition in 2008, his work has been shown at numerous museums, including S.M.A.K. Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent (2010); Kunstmuseum Den Haag, The Hague (2011); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); Lehmbruck Musem, Duisburg, Germany (2013); Aga Khan Museum, Toronto (2017); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2017); and a two-person show with Andrew Sendor at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, USA (2019). He was included in Love Me/Love Me Not: Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and Its Neighbours at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013. Recent solo exhibitions include at the Het Noordbrabants Museum, 's-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (2019); Benaki Museum, Athens (2020); and Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA (2020).

Videos

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Ali Banisadr In Medias Res
In Medias Res
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From the Studio Ali Banisadr
Ali Banisadr
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Group Exhibition Eurasia. A View on Painting
Eurasia. A View on Painting
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Group Exhibition Disaster: The End of Days
Disaster: The End of Days

Publications

Ali Banisadr In Medias Res

Ali Banisadr

In Medias Res
2015
Ali Banisadr: In Medias Res
€ 25.00
Ali Banisadr We Haven't Landed on Earth Yet

Ali Banisadr

We Haven't Landed on Earth Yet
2012
Ali Banisadr: We Haven't Landed on Earth Yet
€ 20.00

News and Press

News and Press

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