Hossein Ahmadi Nasab was born in Minab. He started theater and painting in the same city. For seven years, he was the city s theater and painting expert.
He staged the following plays: The fox and the Eagle, Where Fishes Turn to Ston, Four Chests, and the Stick Holders of Varazil, Dolls, Deplorable, Good Day Mr. Priest and a few others.
He migrated to Tehran in , (1979 A.D.),and directed the following plays: wheat Harvesting in the war season,Deplorable,The Strange Sorrow of Nostalgia, The Red Wind,Babur,The Bride, Love in the Time of cholera, In the Lion s skin, The Peral,Fairies,The Tale of Sarira,Childre of the Sun, and… He established the “art Studio “to train university level students in theater and painting.
For the past 25 years, those fascinated with art and literature have studied his stories and poems in anthologies and the press.
More than 20 individual exhibitions in Tehran, and:
|1992-93||Group Exhibition||New York, and Chicago, U.S.A|
|1997||Group Exhibition||Paris. France|
|1997||Group Exhibition||Peking. China|
|1998||Group Exhibition||Dubai Cortyard, U.A.E|
|2000||Group Exhibition||Art Exposition|
|2000||Group Exhibition||New York, U.S.A., Iranian Art|
|2001||Group Exhibition||Maryland, U.S.A|
|2002||Group Exhibition||Paris, France, Arte Sud|
|Group Exhibition||London, Berne, and Geneva|
|2003||Group Exhibition||Zurich, Switzerland|
Cover, a Sign of Beauty an Attempt to Hide the Wound
In a formal space, in a moment in time, and under critical conditions, it is as if the figures covered with pure bright colors, have all frozen under the light at a flash, becoming eternal. Figures themselves, juxtaposed and covered with the same color against a background of unusual colors, have become masks that cover them and their circumstances. This is why there is no difference between the figures in the foreground and the space in the background. It seems that the figures and the other elements attached to the background colors are all frozen. Thus, figures and their covering are transformed into signs that are at times iconic and at times symbolic. In order to unmask themselves, these signs with their extensive meaning call for the wits and imagination of their addressees. Masks, in the form of color, are the main elements of Ahmadi Nasab s canvases – the facemask, the body mask, the mask of movement, and the space mask – be it external or internal. In primitive societies, the mask plays an important part in various rites and ceremonies, and has a wide range of functions. It is often used for penetrating another body (of people, animals, any living thing, and natural phenomena like wind, rain, etc), so that it can possess the energy of others and establish a direct and profound rapport with world surrounding it. In Ahmadi Nasab s paintings, masks also create a gap between the element and its surrounding world; they alienate one form itself as well as others. In these canvas scenes, people, or more appropriately masks of people, remain surrounded by themselves and their coverings. Each is engaged in a work that is apparently his eternal action, or is frozen in his particular role. With the figures, in addition to the main covering (clothing, mask, type of makeup, and movement), comes another covering that consists of the background colors. These colors are the continuation of some other colors. In other words, there is no separation between the background color and the other colors (figures and elements) of the scene. It is as if they are frozen on the background and amid various colors. On must notice that is no difference between the various surfaces of the painting; everything is juxtaposed on the two dimensional surface of the canvas. Ahmadi Nasab has a world filled with color, design, and stylized movements. The world of these painting is not a natural and realistic world either. It is in fact the stylized world of theater and dance, and even an orderly set of play – like movements, like the Indian moudra. In creating such a world, what thought is the painter trying to convey? He is after portraying the world of absolute loneliness, where people feel alienated even in each other s presence. It is a world in which everything is a play to be watched. It is as if the world is a fashion show with beautiful charming actors, but detached from and strangers to one another. This is how I come to see many similarities between the addressees of the most sumptuous masquerades of aristocratic circles and glorious shows, and those of Ahmadi Nasab s paintings (scenes from the day – to – day life of the futile and poor people of this part of the world). How can one substantiate this similarity? Is it the return to the legendary world? On the other hand, is it the human being s need for show? Celebration and play? Perhaps it is the prototypical ancient viewpoint and its importance in the internal life of human beings. The interpretable nature of Ahmadi Nasab s paintings is his main train. In his painting, the background both separates and unites the figures. Moreover, the colored wrappings of the figures, and their compatibility with the surrounding colors, can be interpreted as the harmony between people and their environment. In addition, the absence of nature in paintings can be considered as the cause for alienation. Ahmadi Nasab s paintings are also narrators of stories, the story of plays, with theater staging, characters, elements of the scene, and the masks. His painting is the same as music with specific musical structure; it is the rhythm and harmony of sadness and variation, coloring, tempo, mood, and dance, beautiful with stylized and choreographed movements. Finally, it is a set of signs accompanied by extensive and, at times, contradictory implications. Ahmadi Nasab is successful in creating a rapport between the forms and the lines of motifs and colors. Finally, he is successful at creating a sort of staging, or a better – organized space.With a transient glance at Ahmadi Nasab s exhibitions, one can easily see the gradual transformation of appearance and content in them. Colors and figures have gradually become simpler and more cohesive, the distinction in Ahmadi Nasab s colors has become more special, and figures are closer to having been actually sketched out. The theater – like staging of his early works are now leaning towards dance – like movements, and the narrating element of his paintings has lessened in his latest exhibition. Ahmadi Nasab is successful in the arrangement of his world, which is a product of his mind, and efforts. Nonetheless, the development and the qualitative transformation of this world still demands greater effort and initiative.
With hope and trust, with a loan from Andrei Tarkovsky
“Nafeh “magazine, year one, 5, 6, and 7
(September), (October), (November), (2000 A. D.)
A women sitting or standing beside trees of before a boat, two women with a fish on the plate, three seated women in a room or on a terrace, and somewhere a young man and woman stand on either side of a boat. Here is Ahmadi Nasab with his woman, in colorful garments and always with the moon, the sun, or both. Somewhere, he has tossed the crescent of the moon at the foot of his women. Hossein Ahmadi Nasab, who has also engaged in poetry and story writing, has chosen people as his subject matter, not buildings, or trees. Nonetheless, there is a piece of the sky in most of his paintings; somewhere it is blazing, somewhere fried, and somewhere like an inverted sea. Ahmadi Nasab`s women, seem astonished from the events of a breathtaking story, driving them onto a journey of dreams, alongside each other, but on their separate paths. Only people and their clothing are left under this sky. The rest is an excuse: trees, buildings, boats…these people and this place form the realm of Ahmadi Nasab in the world of Iranian Painting.
The “Nashr-e Karname” gallery exhibition brochure
He was born in south of Tafteh, and for this reason he remains a faithful worshipper of the sun. He is a familiar with every detail of this place: the aroma of fresh baked read, the color of the furnace and teakwood, the constant sorrow of the tired Ahmadi woman, and the warmth of the hands of the man of the palm. He is familiar with the shore, the alertness of the wave, the strong feet that are left behind at a glance, and are atop the scorching hills at another. Despite their yearning gazes, two doves are constantly flying and inviting colors to the wedding taking place on the canvas. These doves are very gentle, gentler than the gardens of tangerine. They are passionate, mad, and frenzied, more frenzied than the nights of Minab. One most get to know Ahmadi Nasab, not through his paintings, his exhibitions, his poems, or even his subtle smiles, but only through his presence at Minab. Hossein is the pearl – fisher of Minab. He is the essence of Minab.
The “Sheikh” gallery exhibition, (May 1990 A.D)
Hossein Ahmadi nasab`s paintings are know for their identity. His works reveal that when there is lover for one`s homeland and the artist stands firmly on his land with immense and deep – rooted solidity, any simple account turns into something big and significant, and becomes a motive for the painting. Human beings assume the beauty and magnificence usually possessed by legendary heroes.
Moreover, the more profound is the impact of incentive on the painter, the better the outcome of his work is. Ahmadi Nasab`s paintings can be classified into two distinct groups: The first group of paintings includes those that are portrayed with theater – like stage design and the use of ploys and distortions, and the second group includes those that take a closer look at human beings.We find the paintings of the first group to be the work of a painter, who seems to have suffered his entire life from watching a drama, and now he creates a narrating theater scene in which our contemporaneous human beings live in their ancient beliefs. This scenery and theater – like painting is acceptable only if it intends to give meaning to the painting, to somehow determine its identity, and to display a form of life. 7However, if it is intended for coloring, lighting, and emphasis of dramatic and aesthetic elements, it is an effort that does not agree with the contemporary sense of visual Art. In Ahmadi Nasab`s paintings, both goals play a part: On one hand, he used his figures to express a vision, and on the other hand, he juxtaposes them for a particular role. Moreover, since the tale of his canvas is not familiar to the spectator, extreme attention and scruple is spent on details and in making the scene appear like a narration. Behind Ahmadi Nasab`s paintings lies a vast extent of traditions and vernacular features. He belongs to that group of artists who are troubled by the thought and memory of the South like the feeling of an exiled person. Nonetheless, he protects this feeling like a precious treasure and checks on it several times a day. His canvases are filled with the southern sun. Light blends with all the reticent elements of his canvas. However, a profound sorrow constantly casts a shadow everywhere. His people have gathered, but they seem to him humming the grief of their own hymns. He has viewed the people of his canvas with accuracy in mourning and rejoicing. He has felt their fear, doubt, and anxiety. They all have assumed a permanent image in his mind. Nonetheless, when he paints, he imagines these people to be equal, alike, and monotonous. He creates a Byzantine – like mosaic, in which the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ, Judah, David, the devil, and angels all have the same look. Thus, isotropy and likeness replaces congruity and harmony. One can easily remove any of his figures from one canvas and replace it with a figure from other canvas, without blemishing the generality of any of his paintings. Ahmadi Nasab has the diverse color palette of any painter. He chooses his colors from the entire color spectrum, and places them on the canvas decisively. By making use of so many bright and radiant colors that are at times symmetrical and balanced, he creates a reasonable arrangement of colors. It seems like he sees the world through an imaginary kaleidoscope. It is as if in the physical existence of color, he has found a spiritual existence as well. He wants to use this existence to give life to his canvases. Like many symbolists, he has accepted that colors can be as efficient as word, and can show the parallelism of various feelings, and even show their nuances. This belief is in fact the equivalent of the musical feeling of poetry. He wants his paintings to appear like the altar in the Renaissance pictures – gloomy but brilliant and satiated with color, clear – cut full of mystery and secret. In the second group of painting, where Ahmadi Nasab portrays lonely people, his work becomes more artistic, and he puts a more profound feeling into the work. He creates a space in which both the painter and the spectator breathe more freely, and create and create and observe more open – mindedly. In these canvases, Ahmadi Nasab looks at the soul of the people of our times, thought it seems like they have been long forgotten. Their pure sorrow – filled eyes, which have many equivalents in southern part of this land, are gazing at the distant horizon. He portrays these human beings as handful that represent the whole, and as a cross section of the society. It seems that it has been long since the signs of life have abandoned these people. It is as if his people have faces made of hammered metal, and their skin resembles a torn rag put on by a tired soul. This all reminds one of Carlos Fuentes `saying that: “Art is expressive tongue of all things history has denied, extinguished, and has driven out of the scene.”
Ali Asghar Ghareh Baghi
“Andishe ” magazine, ( January 1994 A.D )
Man, the Usual Subject of Ahmadi Nasab`s Canvases
One can consider Ahmadi Nasab`s paintings to be a part of his artistic researches. In these work, the painter has used image from life the South to express his thoughts. He wishes to show moments in the life of southern women, portrayed bright colors. His colors are a testimonial to the artist s sincerity and delightfulness of expression. As he puts it: For me color is a means of expression , and by shuffling the color that are constantly changing and transforming, first in the thought and then on the canvas, I look for what should happen. Man has always been the subject of my canvases. The important thing is to unite human beings and the relationship between them. Together, these tow factors disclose for us the tribal culture of the southern region. This is such that these people are usually shown beside a palm tree, on cracked dry land, with thirsty lips, or while working. Ahmadi Nasab has used an expressive tone in showing the position of his women. The result is the expression of a strong feeling through the elements of color, form, and other visual elements, all to convey the overall feeling of the creator of the image. Hossein Ahmadi Nasab, visualizes the canvas as a theater scene in which actors such as line, surface, texture, form, color, light, shade, etc., along with different visual elements – sometimes motionless and sometimes mobile, at times with generalities, and at times with details – perform various plays. Through texture and its general feeling, lines, and at times through conveyance of the southern culture to the viewer, the protagonist is used to express a feeling or to illustrate a special subject, like the depiction of southern women. As symbols, women have a remarkable splendor in the works of the artist. This splendor is merely the reflections of the artist s inner kinks and twists. These inner reflections emerge from the depth of the painters’ heart and soul, in the form of images depicted with pure bright colors. Najaf Daryabandari the “Green “gallery exhibition, (1993 A.D.)Hossein Ahmadi Nasab was born in Minab and lived in that city until (1979 A.D.). It is fourteen years now that he lives in Tehran. Prior to this , his painting have been exhibited several times in Tehran, New York , Chicago, and other major cities Beside painting, Ahmadi Nasab is also interested in theater , fiction writing , and poetry. In fact, within the past twenty – five years, he has written plays and published manuscripts. The 40 paintings now on display at the “Green “gallery are his work from (1991 – 1992 A.D.).During this period, he has worked more or less exclusively with gouache on dark or painted thin board. In all of his work , one sees a strong tendency for pure bright colors , and quick impromptu sketching . The artist is positively by the warm and sunny climate, the wild nature , and the vernacular culture of his homeland especially the design and color of the women s clothing . Women make up the majority of Minab population, while men, in a struggle to earn a living, mostly parade on the sea waves and the western shores of the persian Gulf , and they rarely appear in Minab. However ,whenever we come across a human face in Ahmadi Nasab s works, we realize that his hasty sketching and bright colors do not prevent him from clearly capturing and registering that persons s specific individuality . In fact, Ahmadi Nasab is a dexterous portraitist, and it is a pity that we see only one of his portraits here at this exhibition.
A look at Ahmadi Nasab
“Iran “newspaper, no.80, third year7
The Evaluation of Contemporary and Regional Art
Like many of our painters, Ahmadi Nasab paints under the influence of the western painting tradition, especially from the latter part of nineteen century onwards. Although his painting has a vernacular quality, his compositions have a western look. From the contemporary standpoint, this multiplicity in from augments the value of his works. Ahmadi Nasab has now reached moderation in his works and tries to maintain the essential equilibrium between the abstract qualities and the true reflections. He thinks about the balance between the external effects and the internal logic of the painting. He portrays his images, but his work is not a plain superficial imitation. Nonetheless, where his work becomes highly characteristic of his region. The human and social aspects continue to expand and persist. By using more simple compositions and distancing himself from the closed art that has occupied his mind under the tribal mask, Ahmadi Nasab has created an art that is in the form of shared human memories. Without a doubt, such an art has the potential for going beyond the old and hindering framework of a particular region, and assume a broader and more social scope. Art of this sort will finally obtain the power to recover the historical “self/identity” which it has always yearned for. Without this historical “self/identity”, no meaningful future shall come into being. Although the figures drawn by Ahmadi Nasab have an affinity with the figures of his previous paintings, they no longer wander in cocoons of tribes and superstitions. The painter has removed these human beings from the time and place they used to live in and has drawn them onto his painting area. Prior to this, these figures served as narrators and performers of a play. The symbolism he used and the legend it took part in were vernacular. However now, the figures have acquired a more common and social expression. As victims of ignorance, poverty, and injustice, they now sit before the spectator as a segment of the structure of today`s society. They have their independent presence and logic, and they don`t conceal their hidden tensions. These characteristics help the painter show the content. This all has resulted in canvases that have their roots in the past, but have a futuristic outlook. They have started their independent life. Without a doubt, these paintings will eventually have more addressees. From a technical standpoint, Ahmadi Nasab`s style is merely the special tone and emphasis with which he arranges his forms, achieving a type of simplicity. In other words, he lets his content bring about a new sort of simplicity for him. He used distortion in depicting hands, and shows them than actuality. It is as if he wants to build a rapport with the live human being inside his painting through these hands. This rapport is what the closed lips and the eyes hidden behind the mask have denied him. It is as if all the days lived by his characters and all the pains suffered by them are held in these hands. However, from behind the masks worn by the women of Ahmadi Nasab`s paintings, the audience is able to decipher their souls. These people seem to have never been strangers to alienation. Like Hegel `s slaves, they live in a closer and a more direct contact with death. Nonetheless, they are closer to the essential processes and rhythms of the world. With their honorable and oppressed beauty, Ahmadi Nasab`s figures sit before the audience in anticipation, quietly and patiently, motionless like the shoreline that sits before the vastness and the endless movement of the sea. They are still watching the grief of sunset, but it is evident that beyond his grief they are staring at a new horizon. Although a certain quality of absence can be sensed in their presence, the instant they enter the minds of the audience, their presence becomes undeniable. It is the same silence that according to Paul Valery and Rainer Rilke is a phase of meditation (in thinking), casting a shadow onto Ahmadi Nasab`s canvas space. This in itself is a sort of preparation for the spiritual maturity, and a difficult ordeal that ends in acquiring the right to speak. As his canvases testify, Ahmadi Nasab is enamored with the South and his homeland. We do not intend to say that the mystery, secrets, his style of painting, and what he draws resembles the mystery of being in love. Nonetheless, many similarities can be seen between these two elements. Alas, in evaluation of artistic works, this reality remains concealed from the audience.
Ali Asghar Ghareh Baghi
“Adineh” magazine, no. 120, 12th year