Shirin Gallery is proud to be part of the third continuous year of Art Dubai Modern. Participating in the Contemporary Section would allow us the opportunity of presenting a more diverse range of artists, perhaps appealing to a wider audience. Yet, We find the Modern Section significantly more alluring. Art Dubai Modern can be relatively compared to a miniature scale museum where galleries are able to represent and study the oeuvre of an artist that might not be easily done in the other formats of Art fairs. Choosing to represent a single artist may encompass a more complicated process, however, it has the benefit of allowing us to essentially “live” this artist’s life and work for a stretch of time. In a way, it becomes more of a research project where the gallery is allowed access to the creative mind and life of the artist it represents.
Shirin Gallery was privileged to gain Ali Akbar Sadeghi’s consent in becoming our featured artist in 2016. At a time when the global art world has embraced an expanded discourse between “east” and “west”, we find ourselves at a crucial juncture in a globalized art field. In this moment of sensitivity towards cultural and regional diversity, Shirin Gallery is impatient to highlight the legacy of Ali Akbar Sadeghi, Artist, illustrator and filmmaker, who is and was an inspiration to many of Iran’s artistic avant-garde from the early 60’s. As one of the world's preeminent art fairs recognized for its commitment to curatorial depth and diversity, Art Dubai is a significant platform for our efforts to initiate global engagement with Ali Akbar Sadeghi’s practices.
Sadeghi’s evolution as an artist – and we don’t use this word to indicate “progress” as in “improvement”, but to merely point to a transformation – Sadeghi has moved from realism, to graphic design, to more fantastical surreal expression. If the graphic designer, illustrator & filmmaker Sadeghi was limited to social ideals, here in his paintings, he can go beyond any conceptual or structural boundaries. He is an artist with roots in Persian lines, entwined with western motifs. Versions of any school such as , Coffeehouse painting, or Miniature, but yet far from being considered among a specific genre.
Sadeghi talks about “humanity” in his work, a type of human identity that occurs in history, time and nature, like a Bach fugue, repetitive, yet sublimely unique, and this is what he brings to his paintings. This variety despite similitude is what we’ve had the privilege of experiencing, as we’ve been absorbed in his works over the past several months.
Shirin Gallery is eager to approach contemporary discourse and historical narratives with the themes of power, mobility, and morality that preoccupied the artist throughout his personal life and creative practice. It is our great privilege and pleasure on behalf of Shirin Gallery to honor Sadeghi's singular visual language, at once incisive, poetic, and wry, as an opening in this ongoing conversation.
Shirin Partovi Tavakolian
Founder & Director
Shirin Art Gallery