A three-volume book covering the versatile Iranian artist Ali Akbar Sadeghi’s works from the 1960s to date was unveiled at Shirin Gallery in Tehran on Friday (April 15).
Titled ‘The Complete Works’, the book focuses on Sadeghi’s many diverse artistic activities, highlighting his expansive practice across many fields of art, ISNA reported.
After the book launch, the restored versions of some of his animations were also screened and a video by Ashkan Sadeghi, the artist’s son, on the life of the veteran art master was shown.
A discussion panel was held at the gallery where graphic designer and illustrator Farshid Mesghali, 73, poet and writer Javad Mojabi, 76, cinema and photography expert Akbar Alemi, 71, art researcher Shahrooz Mohajer, 31, and Ali Bakhtiari, compiler of the books, spoke on diﬀerent aspects of Sadeghi’s life and work.
Despite his artistic activities for over half a century, Sadeghi, 79, never took up teaching as a profession and as a result, has no students.
“I never felt drawn to academic teaching; however, it is for years that I have addressed artists, students, and children interested in art and shared with them whatever I know,” said the artist. He believes there are plenty of ways to learn various fields of art but what is more important is to have the creativity to make a diﬀerence. The first book in the series ‘Life’ is a survey of Sadeghi’s seminal works, which molded his artistic aesthetics over two decades. In this era, he experimented with various mediums and techniques such as graphic design and film. By reviewing this phase, various aspects of the artistic and sociological history of Iran from the 1950s to the 1970s are revealed.
Sadeghi has made seven films and won many awards at international film and animation festivals. He has been recognized as an outstanding cultural figure and contributor to Iranian art and culture by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.The second volume ‘Love’ includes the artist’s paintings from the 1970s, beginning with the ‘Myth & Math’ series, which spans over a period of 30 years. The other series of works such as ‘Coalition’, ‘Nails’, ‘Rebirth’, and ‘Camouflage’ give a more precise insight into the artist’s fascinating surreal world.
In his paintings, Sadeghi draws on the rich traditions of Persian art but adds to them a surreal edge. His artworks are beautiful blends of colors and forms. He rearranges subjects of his interest in a variety of artistic mediums, including painting, graphic design, illustration, and animation. ‘Lost’, the last book in the series, is a collection of Sadeghi’s poetry, written between 2005 and 2006 when he suﬀered from severe depression and was unable to paint. His poetry shows a vague and naive attitude toward the world surrounding him. Each piece is represented by a small drawing composed of elements mentioned in the related poem.Several prominent veterans and young figures of art attended the event including painter Hossein Mahjoubi, 85, musician and composer Mohammad Sarir, 72, architect Ataollah Omidvar, 70, painter and sculptor Taha Behbahani, 69, graphic designer Ebrahim Haqiqi, poet Soheil Mahmoudi, cartoonist Bozorgmehr Hosseinpour, actress Tannaz Tabatabaei, and Ali Moradkhani, art deputy at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Art curator Ali Bakhtiari, compiler of the books, founded ABbookness and ABprojects in 2012 as curatorial platforms that focus on modern and contemporary Iranian art. The mission of AB projects is to highlight the less-represented aspects of Iranian art, through publishing books on the artists and organizing exhibitions.
AB books are the first Middle Eastern art book project, as the publishers collaborated with particular artists who help push the boundaries of this media. AB Books has published texts and works of well-known figures like painter Farideh Lashai, sculptor and painter Parviz Tanavoli, and painter Parvaneh Etemadi. The screening of Sadeghi’s animations will continue until April 20 at the gallery located at No. 5, 13th St., Sanaee St., Karimkhan Zand Ave.