Ayyam Gallery Dubai (DIFC) is pleased to present Dance in the Dark, the solo exhibition of Tehran-based artist Mohammad Bozorgi.
Coinciding with the Holy Month of Ramadan, Dance in the Dark features a selection of new paintings and, for the first time, silkscreen prints by the accomplished calligrapher.
Bozorgi’s latest body of work resumes the theme of his 2016 exhibition at Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Against the Darkness, as he seeks to communicate a sense of hope through beauty in spite of the brutal wars that have devastated the Middle East. In these awe-inspiring compositions, Bozorgi describes the splendour of the universe as evidence of divine creation, particularly the tranquility and magnificence that can be found in the natural world. With vivid colour and delicate line work, he transforms Arabic text into fluid forms that travel across the canvas.
In Blossoms Rain (2017), for example, letters are intertwined in an endless stream of shapes painted in shimmering green, blue, and purple hues. Here harmony is achieved with colour and brush work in addition to the artist’s complex designs. Beneath these organic forms, a grey backdrop resembles bedrock yet simultaneously suggests infinite space.
Dance in the Dark also features smaller silkscreen works that demonstrate the artist’s ongoing investigation of how the centuries-old tradition of calligraphy can be updated for twenty-first century visual culture. Creating his own silkscreen tools, Bozorgi altered this printmaking technique to fulfill the formal demands of calligraphic designs, allowing the medium to shape the formalism of his work in new ways. Executing silkscreens presented a technical challenge for the artist given that it is difficult to register the many facets of such meticulous compositions. The resulting limited edition prints, however, reflect the freedom that came with mastering the medium, which eventually allowed Bozorgi to expand the range of his palette and text-based forms.
In keeping with the aesthetic principles of Islamic art, Mohammad Bozorgi maps his compositions according to precise mathematical structures and symmetry, and never deviates from the meaning of words despite the innovation of his script.
Born in Tehran in 1978, Bozorgi was originally educated as a biomedical engineer before entering the visual arts with a decade of training at the Society of Iranian Calligraphers, where he mastered a number of calligraphic forms, and earned ‘Momtaz’ degrees. This robust background has inspired Bozorgi to use the directives of geometry to create abstract illusions of depth and space while developing stylised characters based on Arabic and Persian examples.
Recognised as a leading figure among a ‘New Generation’ of contemporary calligraphers, Bozorgi builds on the breakthroughs of modern predecessors, as he seeks to advance the art of calligraphy through experimental formalism. Within his meticulously designed compositions, text multiplies as it is infused with energy and appears to move across the canvas or paper in unison, originating from and returning to the center like the cyclical rhythms of nature.
Bozorgi has participated in recent solo and group exhibitions at Sharjah Calligraphy Biennial, Sharjah (2016); Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai (2016); Ayyam Gallery Al Quoz, Dubai (2015); Ayyam Gallery, Jeddah (2014); Homa Gallery, Tehran (2014); Galerie Nicolas Flamel, Paris (2013); Kashya Hildebrand Gallery, Zurich (2012); Shirin Art Gallery, Tehran (2012); and Endjavi-Barbé Art Projects, Geneva (2012). His works are housed in private and public collections, including the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.