Artist Ardeshir Mohasses back home with posthumous show

December 6, 2021 - 18:34

TEHRAN – Drawings and cartoons by Ardeshir Mohasses, a great Iranian artist who spent the last 30 years of his life in New York, will be showcased in an exhibition in Tehran 13 years after his death.

A collection of rarely seen works by the artist will be put on view in the ten-day exhibition opening at Artibition Gallery on Friday.

The authenticity of the artworks has been confirmed by Nikzad Nojumi, the U.S.-based Iranian artist who is also a Mohasses’s close friend, the gallery said in a statement published on Monday.

The gallery called the exhibition “an important event in Iran’s visual arts arena” and added, “In a period, in which Iranian artists had stuck to focusing on the modernism aesthetic, he put the issue aside, regarding drawing to have his personal expression; something that is considered a contemporary issue.”  
  
Ahmad Shamlu, one of Iran’s foremost poets of Persian blank verse style, wrote about Mohasses’s style, “If we define cartoon art as an exaggerated expression of the truth, then what are drawn by Ardeshir are not cartoons anymore; at least for us, his friends and those who know the pains and sufferings of the subjects of his works.”

“Besides being a talented and skillful artist, Ardeshir will remain an acute realist. He is an artist who illustrated the truth in his environs, a truth that still exists, breathes and has expired,” he added.

Born in Rasht in 1939, Mohassess was an eminent cartoonist, illustrator, graphic satirist and painter, who played a major role in the development of cartoons in Iran.

He worked for years with several magazines, including Tofiq, Iran’s most popular satirical magazine before the 1979 Islamic revolution. 

In 1978, Mohasses left his homeland to live in New York, where he died in 2008.

He never studied art formally. Although ranked first among all applicants to the Faculty of Fine Arts, he nevertheless opted to study political science. 

He graduated from Tehran University’s Faculty of Law and Political Science in 1962 and was hired that same year as a librarian in the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. He left the position after a year and devoted his time to his artistic career.

Photo: A poster for an exhibition of artworks by Ardeshir Mohasses at Tehran’s Artibition Gallery. 

MMS/YAW
 

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