Ali Banisadr - 20th Century to Now London Friday, June 30, 2023 | Phillips
  • Osman Can Yerebakan What does it mean to make paintings today when we are stuck between URL and IRL?


    Ali Banisadr I ask this to myself all the time, and painting saves me! I’m able to tap into a place above thinking, a place of intelligence that can only be accessed through painting. I haven’t witnessed this other type of consciousness conveyed by any other medium in such a spiritual way. There’s a mystical aspect to painting in which it creates a portal to a place smarter than what I could possibly reach. Every time I tried other mediums, I felt limited—they didn’t mesh with my nature. Painting takes me back to an ancient way of thinking when people understood what they imagined through painting. It was basically magic that drove them to paint. They didn’t do it to show in an exhibition or to sell. When I look at paintings from five hundred years ago from Northern Europe, I am able to communicate, and that is pretty powerful. The only other experience where I can see this possibility is in poetry. i



    i ‘Finding Hope in the Chaos: Ali Banisadr Interviewed by Osman Can Yerebakan’, Bomb Magazine, January 28, 2021, online.

    • Provenance

      Galleria Monica De Cardenas, Milan
      Acquired from the above by the present owner

    • Exhibited

      Milan, Galleria Monica De Cardenas, VISIONS, 29 September - 10 December 2011

    • Literature

      Ali Banisadr: One Hundred and Twenty Five Paintings, exh. cat. Blain|Southern, London, 2015, p. 236, (illustrated, pp. 108-109)

    • Artist Biography

      Ali Banisadr

      Ali Banisadr is an Iranian-American contemporary artist working in New York. Taking influence from the annals of art history as well as from memories of his childhood during the Iran-Iraq War, Banisadr creates harrowing whirlwinds of chaos and color on the surface of his canvases. He frequently describes his work in terms of tone, volume, and temperature; each canvas begins as Banisadr, who has synesthesia, reflects on the sounds and vibrations of his wartime childhood and develops the chaos until he has calmed the composition to a state of intelligibility.  

      Banisadr borrows equally from Persian miniature painting, Old Masters, and Abstract Expressionists alike. His dynamic Boschian compositions exist in a state of hazy uncertainty between abstraction and figuration, recreating the frenzied sensory traces of war. His work is represented in the collections of major museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the British Museum, London, and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.  

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Black 4

signed and dated 'ALI BANISADR 2011' on the overlap
oil on linen
122.7 x 152.8 cm (48 1/4 x 60 1/8 in.)
Painted in 2011.

Full Cataloguing

£70,000 - 90,000 

Sold for £124,460

Contact Specialist

Leonor de Osma
Head of Sale, 20th Century to Now
T +44 20 7901 7912
M +44 7584 086 052

20th Century to Now

London Auction 30 June 2023