By Syma Sayyah, Tehran
Late Iraj Zand
The whole of the Iranian art scene was in shock two years ago when we learned that Iraj Zand had passed away after a short illness. When we went to see the exhibition at the Golestan gallery which was to be his last, I asked about Iraj and was told that he was in hospital. So sadly and so suddenly he left this world, his art, and his wife Sayyeh and his son Mani.
Sayyeh and his son Mani
We were related in a strange roundabout way and I had met and talked to him many times at my aunt Fakhri and we had come across each other at some exhibitions here and there over the years.
I always found him most gentle and kind. He had a warm and quiet voice yet one always felt that he was full of fun and life.
Iraj Zand's style was quite unique and you could instantly recognize the artist when you came across one of his two dimensional sculptures. In the words of Mehdi Sahabi "Zand's statues lived in an uncomplicated world, reflecting the simple nature of man's origin and fate by eliminating all else in between".
Ruien Pazad said about Iraj that to him mental experience for an artist was more important than the process of doing the art work, and agrees that Iraj's sculptures came out of his paintings.
Iraj spent a long time in France and had over thirty exhibitions in Iran and Europe during his nearly 30 years of the work which he loved.
His paintings are deep and make the viewer stop and think. His large sculptures may be expressing a great struggle within and with others but I find his small bronze sculptures most cheerful, free, independent with a life of their own, and I find them most memorable and touching.
Tehran Niavaran Cultural Center 9 (Pasdaran, opposite Niavaran Park, Tel: 22287081) is having a complete retrospective of his work and more than 100 of his paintings and over 30 of his bronzes are on display.
The exhibition will be open until 1st of December and is accompanied by a book with illustrations of many of his works.
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