Mohammad Ehsaei, Setayesh-e Bahar/Laudă Primăverii (2006)
Muzeul Ermitaj, Sankt Petersburg, Rusia
Voi incheia azi seria postarilor dedicate pictorului caligraf iranian Mohammad Ehsaei, dar nu insa inainte de a pune deoparte o lucrare despre care voi vorbi cu alta ocazie … si dupa cum bine ati ghicit e vorba de ceva mai special pentru mine.
Dar sa revin la subiect.
Pentru a intra in atmosfera deosebită pe care lucrarile caligrafice au darul de a o crea, propun o vizita virtuala la Muzeul Ermitaj din Sankt Petersburg deoarece acest important muzeu a achizitionat cateva opere de arta realizate de Ehsaei.
Setayeshe Bahar, prin cele doua nuanțe folosite, ocru si negru, mi-a adus in fata ochilor vasele Greciei antice si ceramica de Cucuteni.
Mohammad Ehsaei a fost dintotdeauna un artist versatil, un artist cu radacini adanci in lumea Persiei mitologice, cu trunchiul infasurat de vițele de vie ale versetelor coranice dar cu crengile înfrunzind in modernitate.
Mohammad Ehsaei, verset caligrafiat din Qoran
El trece cu usurinta de la stilul traditional al caligrafiei nastaliq la unul profund modern. Daca nu as fi pus explicatii sub urmatoarea pictura nu cred ca multi dintre vizitatorii blogului si-ar fi dat seama ca in aceste culori vii, potrivite mai degraba pentru logo-ul firmei Microsoft, e scris Allah.
Mohammad Ehsaei, Allah
vândută la casa de licitații Christie in noiembrie 2011
Daca cineva va trai cu impresia ca Mohammad Ehsaei e un pictor-caligraf religios, in sensul definit de doctrina islamica, se va insela foarte mult si va ramane profund surprins sa afle ca prima lucrare expusa public intr-o expozitie o reprezinta o caligrafie inspirata din rubayatele lui Khayyam.
Da, Omar Khayyam, binecunoscutul poet, matematician si astronom persan care in poeziile sale a dat „vinului” sensuri multiple … inca de pe atunci tanarul Ehsaei intuise perfect dificultatea de a patrunde si interpreta catrenele si tocmai de aceea si-a intitulat aceasta prima lucrare „Nodurile lui Khayyam”.
Ideea grafica a „nodurilor” se va transforma intr-o prezență uneori vădită, alteori discretă, a intregii sale opere.
Daca ar fi să-l numesc pe Mohammad Ehsaei intr-un fel, eu l-aș numi Pictorul Nodurilor deoarece picturile lui caligrafice mi-au lasat deseori impresia unor panglici innodate sau panglici ce așteaptă să fie înnodate … sau dezlegate :)
Mahammad Ehsaei – Gherehaye Khayyam / Nodurile lui Khayyam (1968)
(prima sa lucrare expusa public)
El va continua sa caligrafieze intr-un stil propriu catrenele poetului persan, fie inspirandu-se din manuscrisele epocii in care a trait Omar Khayyam, fie din liniile geometrice ale arhitecturii postmoderniste.
Mohammad Ehsaei – lucrare caligrafica in stil clasic persan
Catrenul intitulat Mei Khor (Bea Vin) de Omar Khayyam
Desi un artist versatil, ce a facut pasi mari in ceea ce priveste forma, Mohammad Ehsaei a ramas fidel culorilor si combinatiilor de culori, dintre care eu personal am remarcat combinatia rosu-negru, ocru-negru dar si predilectia lui pentru verde.
Mohammad Ehsaei, Untitled (1964)
Muzeul de Arta Contemporana din Teheran
Una din primele picturi caligrafice ale lui Ehsaei, realizata la vârsta de douazeci si cinci de ani, e aceasta pe care tocmai o priviti. Liniile dovedesc siguranta mâinii iar simplitatea literelor calmul si multumirea sufleteasca a tanarului student.
Mi-a placut nuanta acestui verde si am observat ca peste ani si ani pictorul a utilizat-o din nou pentru caligrafia in relief de pe fațada Ambasadei Iranului din Dubai.
Vechile iubiri nu se uita iar cele noi, cu greu, si doar partial, pot lua locul celor vechi.
Mohammad Ehsaei, fatada Ambasadei Iranului din Dubai
lucrare caligrafica in relief
Din când in când însă Mohammad Ehsaei experimenteaza albastrul si movul.
Dau ca exemplu aceasta ultima caligrafie ce, pe langa aspectul grafic, are un nume deosebit : Jahan va Kar-e Jahan be Heech.
In traducere ar insemna cam asa : „Lumea si mersul lumii pe(ntru) nimic” sau „Lumea si lucrurile lumii pe(ntru) nimic”.
Mohammad Ehsaei, Jahan va Kar-e Jahan be Heech
Înserez in intregime un interviu acordat de Mohammad Ehsaei lui Etienne Hellman :
” With four works by the noted artist Mohammed Ehsai being offered in Christie’s Visions d’Orient – De l’orientalisme à l’art contemporain sale in Paris, 4 November 2011, Etienne Hellman, Christie’s International Director, met with the artist to talk about identity, calligraphy, and the still life of words.
Etienne Hellman: Traditional calligraphy plays a very important part in your work. How did you discover classical calligraphy and when did you start to study this calligraphy?
Mohammed Ehsai: All of my art takes its inspiration from what came before: the works of the past.
EH: Which works in particular?
ME: Writing. Its primary function is to get a message across, but over time, it has come to be invested with another function. It has become the mirror of the imagination and man has also used it purely for decoration – on walls, ceramics and even tablecloths.
EH: Are you referring to Islamic art?
ME: Yes. Man used writing to make his wishes reality. For example, by decorating a plate, he was wishing good health to anybody who happened to use it.
EH: Do you mean that traditional ceramics have had an influence on your work?
ME: Yes and no. Coming back to calligraphy, this involves a certain amount of modernity, but there is a big difference. When people wrote, they were putting across the deep desire of a tribe or community, never a personal wish. That is what you see on a minaret, for example.
In my work, it’s the opposite. I am inspired by Western art, in which individualism has a very strong presence. My work puts across a deep desire, but an individual one: my own thoughts.
EH: Can you expand upon this link with Western art?
ME: Western artists take their inspiration from various things: still lifes, landscapes and so on. Others also take inspiration from writing. Given my past, my origins, I have been inspired by this writing, transmitted by my identity.
For others, it could be words. We Iranians are a people with a love of words. We have many great poets who wrote verse, who used poetry to express their feelings. For me, therefore, words are cultural and vital. However, my work takes its inspiration from my profound identity, which is what makes it real – not overdone. It comes from the very depths of my culture.
You could ask yourself why my work, which uses writing, cannot be read. It is because I use a dual approach. Anybody viewing my work can interact equally with the substance and the form. This gives their imagination free rein.
This is why I also choose words out of context. When you look at these words out of their context, isolated, it gives you the option to create a number of things around them, a different scenario, and that can change every day. If you are looking at that object on a daily basis, you can create a different scenario every day.
It’s like a science lab, you can work there for years without making any discoveries or just minor ones, or you could discover thousands of things. But when you go into a lab, the first thing you have to do is turn the light on. Your thoughts then start to wander, becoming fertile. They start to see things, to create a whole new universe and to establish communication with the object. This work happens by itself; the observer appropriates the work and it becomes his own.
EH: Which artistic movement has influenced you the most?
ME: Let’s just say that it is more the result of a meeting and of chance. I was in Parviz Tanavoli’s workshop, when he had just returned from the West. As we were talking, he said „As you write so well, why don’t you do something with writing?” That is what spawned the idea of writing in my work.
Before that, I worked on still lifes. When I thought back over that conversation, I wondered why writing shouldn’t become my subject, my language.
EH: It’s writing as still life, almost.
ME: It is almost still life, yes.
I then took the quatrains of Omar Khayyâm, the great Persian poet, and combined them with each other, so that they were no longer legible. The result was to change the meaning. The writing was transformed into a single image and the meaning became visible.
In my work there are different levels of reading. By getting rid of the literary sense of words, by changing their shape, I started to create my own work, like architecture that can collapse as soon as a single element is removed. I created a composition that was designed to be seen rather than read.
That brought me to a kind of minimalism, which is probably the influence of Western art on my work, to come back to one of your questions. By choosing just a single word, I reduce the abstraction to a minimum.
EH: What are your thoughts on the emergence of the Iranian art market, which has gone international, and of these young artists?
MH: It is fairly complex. There are three points to take into account: the first being the economic element.
The second point to note is the fact that a new style is being introduced that is far removed from portraiture and the figurative. As the image, in itself, was to a certain extent forbidden under Islam, this meant that there were more works centred on writing. The third and most important point is the psycho-philosophical aspect: all nations are familiar with writing, thanks to religious writings, amongst other things – be it the Bible, the Qur’an or the Torah – and as a result, even people who can’t read Arabic can understand and interact with a work which uses Arabic script.
Lastly, we should never disregard the quality of the works. Enthusiasts can tell an original from a fake, good quality work from inferior work. This may be why Parviz Tanavoli’s work and mine have been so popular, because it is understood that there is work and depth to them.”