Ali Banisadr - 20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale London Monday, June 25, 2018 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York
    Acquired from the above by the present owner in 2011

  • Exhibited

    New York, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, Ali Banisadr It Happened and It Never Did, 3 March - 23 April 2011

  • Literature

    Jessica Smith, Emily Jackson and Noura Al-Maashouq eds., Ali Banisadr: One Hundred and Twenty Five Paintings, London, 2015, pp. 112-115 (illustrated)

  • Catalogue Essay

    Blurring the line between order and chaos, It Happened and It Never Did epitomises Banisadr’s unique ability to ingeniously capture countless dualities throughout his artwork. It Happened and It Never Did instantly engages the viewer through the dynamic intricacy of the composition and the disorientating gestures of the brushstrokes. A phantasmic, opulent realm of vibrant colour envelops its spectators, playing optical games, as flecks and blurs of light and dark disguise any truthful realism. Banisadr’s meticulous attention to detail and visual illusion enables him to imaginatively bridge stillness and abstraction, with motion and figuration. These complex worlds, exuding effervescence and brimming with flora and fauna, seamlessly encapsulate Banisadr’s own past – memories of living with the terrors and violence of the Iran-Iraq war – together with visual references to the great masters of Middle Eastern, European and American iconography. It Happened and It Never Did reveals an ethereal scene, in which a series of events are unfolding, however the smears and impressions of the paint conceal the actions of the figures.

    Banisadr’s experience of synaesthesia while painting allows him to transgress the limits of his senses, and construct magical worlds beyond the confines of realism. The rhythmic disarray of Banisadr’s exquisite works invites the viewers to wholly immerse themselves in these dramatic and unexplored states of flux. With its natural colours, elements and undulations of a rural landscape in combination with a kaleidoscopic frenzy of energetic, human-like movement, It Happened and It Never Did is a prime example of Banisadr’s unparalleled ability to create absolute balance. ‘It’s very important for me that there is no central focus. I want every single corner of the work to be as interesting as the rest. To have something to attract the eye. I don’t want any hierarchy’ (Ali Bandisadr, quoted in Graham Southern, Ali Banisadr: One Hundred and Twenty Five Paintings, London, 2015, p. 7).

  • 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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It Happened and It Never Did

each signed and dated 'Ali BANiSADR 2011' on the overlap
oil on linen, diptych
each 182.9 x 137.2 cm (72 x 54 in.)
overall 182.9 x 274.3 cm (72 x 108 in.)

Painted in 2011.

£220,000 - 280,000 

Sold for £345,000

Contact Specialist
Tamila Kerimova
Specialist, Head of Day Sale
+ 44 20 7318 4065
[email protected]

20th Century & Contemporary Art Day Sale

London Auction 26 June 2018