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Parviz Mohassel "Black and White paintings": Westbeth Gallery, New York City

On View until 04 June 2006



At Westbeth Gallery, (57 Bethune at Washington Street, New York, NY 10014, telephone (212) 989-4650) there is an exhibition of abstract paintings by Iranian born artist/architect based in New York entitled "Back and White paintings."  Parviz Mohassel has created work on canvas ranging from small to large triptychs during 1998 to 2006 in Maine, Connecticut, and New York. Among them are two triptychs Andazeh measuring 108" x 48" and Ravand 90" x40" that emblemise the main gallery walls. In addition, there are set of nine 30" x 24" early paintings titled Bandar, Darab, Arras, Yazd, ... and Gilan, which reveal sense of calmness of place, "Makan" as they fill the entire wall as matrix. Below are excerpts form artist statement and examples of Parviz Mohassel paintings.


Remoteness and Nearness

Painting is the creation of perceptible form out of an expression of experience. Bound in the from that makes it conceivable, it is separate and remote. And yet, at the same time, painting presents a deep and complicated vitality which projects itself upon imagination and memory. Within this continuum of remoteness (imagination) and nearness (what is present), a painting is never complete. It is unsurpassable condition, "pointing" to dynamic ground of perceptual possibilities.



1. In the world, the painter paints with the body. And "by lending the body to the world ...artist changes the world into painting." Merleau-Ponty quotes Valéry that the painter "takes his body with him" when is painting, as body "holds things in a circle around itself. Indeed, we cannot imagine how the mind could paint. The body is not an object outside of the consciousness, but Being conscious of the world as the Lived-Body. (POP, 101)



2. The modern painters try to avoid the mechanical and geometrical representations. This avoidance has resulted that the "entire modern history of painting detaches itself from illusionism of perspectival presentation and to acquire its own dimension taking shape in the lived-world. (P178)  This attempted avoidance can be witnessed in Cezanne's lifelong struggle with depth, where he no longer takes depth as fully expressed by the Cartesian coordinate system and linear perspective. For the modern painters depth is simply a variation of height and width and not expressed as the third dimension. In addition as the result of this attempt, painting full experiential openness is extended to understanding of colour as primary quality of from.



3. Paintings are body of connected ideas, and not separate and distinct problems of depth and line, movements and contours. (P188) Each idea is capable of swaying all the rest. With avoidance of geometrical representations of form of reality, painting has opened to learn the richness, and the fullness of being multidimensional, organic, and not apart from the embodied viewer. If the "reality" is forgotten by pre-supposition of mental activity or the product of painting as figurative, one ought to place herself as the originators bring back the intuitive ground of the lived-world within the continuum of remoteness (imagination) and nearness (what is present) in painting. 


Note: All above references are to Merleau-Ponty's books and Phenomenology of Perception, 1996, Routledge.



... Payvand News - 6/1/06 ... --

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