TEHRAN, Aug. 17 (Mehr News Agency) -- The late pioneer of Iranian modern art Behjat Sadr was commemorated by a group of colleagues at the Iranian Artists Forum here on Sunday. Behjat Sadr died of a heart attack last week aged 85 on an island in the south of France. She is widely believed to be one of the pioneers of Iranian modern art.
Aidin Aghdashlu, Javad Mojabi, Mohammad Ehsaii, Iraj Eskandari, Bahman Farmanara, Morteza Katuzian, Gizella Sinaii and Khosro Sinaii were among the participants.
Writer and critic Mojabi spoke first, expressing his regret over the great loss and said, "It is hard to judge in a society where criticism is not welcomed. Most artists are not in their rightful position. We ourselves even despise ourselves or others, and then after we are gone, we are highly respected."
He then continued, "Sadr and Sohrab Sepehri were students of art in the same years. She was the top student when she graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts.
"She began her career in Rome by painting on canvas. She used to place the canvas on the floor and paint with a palette knife. One of her central themes was trees, but she moved on towards abstract works and later geometrical figures," he explained.
Mojabi then expressed his wish that people would appreciate artists before their deaths, "If artists like Sadr and Bahman Mohasses had been introduced to the up-coming generations during their lifetime, our youth would have been able pick up their methods instead of only repeating their experiences."
Aghdashlu also talked about Sadr as his master teacher, noting that she lived well and peacefully, "As one of her students I always envied her cheerfulness, freshness and easy way of life."
He mentioned that reviewing Sadr's artworks is not an easy task since no complete source of information exists and more research is needed before they can be properly introduced to students.
The ceremony was concluded with the recitation of a piece of poetry by Ebrahim Jafari, one of Sadr's students.
Sadr was the first female contemporary painter to be considered on the same level as her male colleagues in Iran. Some experts believe that her understanding of modern art was complete.
Born in 1924 in Arak, Sadr began her studies at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of Tehran. Afterwards, she was awarded a scholarship to continue her studies at the Academia di Belle Arti in Rome and later went on to the Naples Academy of Fine Arts. Sadr's first major exhibition was at the 28th Venice Biennial in 1956.
Her works were last displayed in 2007 in the group exhibit "Manifestations of Contemporary Art in Iran" at Tehran's Museum of Contemporary Art.
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