Ayyam Gallery DIFC, Dubai, is pleased to announce 'Passing the Crisis', an exhibition of new oil paintings by Iranian painter Rezvan Sadeghzadeh.

Sadeghzadeh’s new works directly address apprehension, hope and fear. Anonymous female figures stand alongside oversized rocks and boulders, often dwarfed by these monolithic forms. Stones appear repeatedly throughout his paintings; they are not used merely as peripheral elements in a formal still life, or as background props in a landscape, but rather as organisms with a life and energy of their own, sometimes appearing centre stage to be studied at close range.

Alongside these stones are other repeated objects: bayonets, candles, doors, and more occasionally, trees, are all recurring motifs in Sadeghzadeh’s painterly vocabulary. The artist has commented, “I came across these elements on streets of the town in which I live, and they have gradually found their way into my work…They are valuable to me as they carry paradoxical concepts within them.”

This element of double meaning is important to Sadeghzadeh in giving audiences freedom of interpretation. A stone can be both a hard, rigid and unforgiving object, yet one that also symbolises patience and stoicism. Similarly a candle can represent both presence and absence; it might be lit to mourn the loss of a loved on, or alternatively in celebration of a birthday. The artist points to Hafiz poetry, with its subtle layers of meaning and shifting borders of interpretation, as a source of inspiration to his approach.

The women populating Sadeghzadeh’s compositions keep their backs to the audience, assuming the role of spectator alongside the viewer. By never showing individual faces and often grouping these women together as a mass of watching figures, the artist presents them as a collective rather than as individual. These vibrantly dressed figures often have the appearance of waiting for something - or someone - just out of the frame, imbuing the works with a tense stillness and a palpable sense of narrative about to unfold.

Born in Iran in 1964, Rezvan Sadeghzadeh currently lives and works in Tehran. Selected solo exhibitions include: Mah Gallery, Tehran (2007); Golestan Gallery, Tehran (2004); Asar Gallery, Tehran (2001); Arian Gallery, Tehran (2000); Arian Gallery, Tehran (1997); 7 Samar Gallery, Tehran (1996); Golestan Gallery, Tehran (1996); and Kandloos Gallery, Tehran (1994).