Iran News ...


04/14/09

Paradise Lost: Persia From Above


LEILA TAGHINIA-MILANI HELLER GALLERY

ltmhgallery.com
39 EAST 78TH STREET AT MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK NY 10075 212.249.7695

March 2009, New York, NY - For the first time ever, 29 breathtaking aerial photographs of Persia by award-winning Swiss photographer Georg Gerster, taken in the immediate years before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, will be on exhibition at the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery (LTMH) from April 4th through April 21st, 2009. The works were recently compiled in the book, Paradise Lost: Persia From Above, edited by Maryam Sachs and published by Phaidon Press. A book signing will accompany the opening reception, which will take place on Saturday, April 4th from 6 pm to 8 pm.
 


Mount Damavand, Iran 1978
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper, ed. of 5 plus 2 APs
47 x 71 in / 120 x 180 cm
Printed 2009
 

In the late 1970's Gerster was granted permission by Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi to record the Persian topography. It was a rare opportunity, resulting in vivid photographs that capture the rich Persian landscapes and city structures that few people outside the country have been able to experience. Once the Revolution broke out, however, Gerster's plan to produce a book of these photographs was brought to an immediate halt. Nearly thirty years after their execution, the photographs were rediscovered by Maryam Sachs, who, with her stunning vision, finally brought the book project to fruition. She calls the book her "gift to all Persians;" and indeed, the gallery is thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce these photographs to audiences of all generations who are both familiar and unfamiliar with the Persian landscape. "Gerster's photographs are of enormous historical importance, as they are a magnificent testament to the extraordinary beauty of Persia," says Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller, owner of the eponymous gallery.

 


Qanat Watering Garden in Fars, Iran 1976
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 in / 130 x 100 cm
Printed 2009
 

In the introduction to the book Gerster reveals the origin for the photographs: "Flying on business over Iran," he writes, "I had been struck by the thought that Persia's natural and cultural landscape was predestined to be viewed from the air." Indeed Gerster, who is hailed as a pioneer in aerial photography, allows us birds-eye-views that reveal the magnificence of the country's architectural feats and splendid countryside. Through the photographs, we are able to explore ancient citadels and architectural sites; some, like the historic Persepolis, built thousands of years ago. We are also given the opportunity to view some of Persia's most magnificent mosques in all of their luminous beauty. While such works reveal the more documentary aspects of Gerster's works, an undoubtedly artistic approach is present in his landscape views. The abstraction of these works obscures a precise identification and evokes a sense of mystery as to place and location. At the same time, Gerster still presents his audience with photographs that capture the stunning beauty of Persia's landscapes, especially when seen from above.


The Tomb of Cyrus the Great, Iran 1976
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 in / 130 x 100 cm
Printed 2009


Georg Gerster's career spans over 40 years of aerial photography above 111 countries and six continents. Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1928, Georg received his doctorate from Zurich University. Since 1956 he has been a freelance journalist, and has worked on a regular basis for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Washington-based National Geographic. He has undertaken extensive visits to every part of the world.

All photographs included in the
Paradise Lost: Persia From Above book will be available for sale. For additional images or information please contact Lauren Pollock at 212-249-7695 or lauren@ltmhgallery.com.
 


The Shah Mosque in Esfahan, Iran 1978
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
51 1/8 x 39 3/8 in / 130 x 100 cm
Printed 2009

 

GEORG GERSTER

Georg Gerster was born in Winerthur, Switzerland, on April 30, 1928. He studied classical language at his local grammar school, before reading German and English at Zurich University, where he also received his doctorate. From 1950 to 1956, he was science editor of the Zurich Weltwoche. Since 1956, he has been a freelance journalist specializing in science reporting and aerial photography. For forty years, he has been taking breathtaking pictures of mountains and deserts, coasts and lakes, spectacular archaeological sites and ancient monuments, and agrarian and industrial landscapes. He has covered all types of territory, from the Amazon to Antarctica, in 111 countries on all continents. Gerster sees his work as a philosophical instrument: 'Distance creates an overview, and an overview creates insight.' His works are on a regular basis for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Washington-based National Geographic. He is currently having an exhibition at the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery, Paradise Lost Persia from Above from April 4-21, 2009. Gerster is based near Zürich, Switzerland.

MARYAM SACHS

Maryam Sachs worked closely with Georg Gerster for five years to produce this unique project about her native country and bring an exceptional collection of photographs to a wider audience for the first time. Born in Iran, she was educated at the Sorbonne in Paris, and has a Masters in Economic Development from Columbia University, New York. Her books include the anthologies 'The Kiss' and 'The Moon', as well as 'The Wild Emperor' (with her husband, Rolf Sachs) and 'Sans te dire adieu', a novel. She lives in London.
 


Aerated Cistern in Yazd, Iran 1977
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
22 x 30 in / 56 x 76 cm
Printed 2009

 


Bagh-e Shahzadeh Near Mahan, Iran 1977
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
22 x 30 in / 56 x 76 cm
Printed 2009

 


Hormoz Island, Iran 1976
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
22 x 30 in / 56 x 76 cm
Printed 2009

 


Persepolis, Iran 1976

Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
30 x 22 in / 76 x 56 cm
Printed 2009


The City of Hamadan, Iran 1976
Fujicolor crystal archive gloss paper
22 x 30 in / 56 x 76 cm
Printed 2009

 

See more photos on Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery (LTMH) web site: ltmhgallery.com

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