Tanavoli and Assar’s works at Bonhams Fine Art Auction

Financial Tribune- The London branch of Bonhams Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers will hold an auction titled ‘Awakening and Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art’ on April 18.

A total of 67 artworks from Middle Eastern artists will be offered, mostly by Egyptian artists, followed by Iraqi, Turkish and Syrian artists. Among the works are six created by four Iranians.

Acclaimed sculptor, painter, scholar and author Parviz Tanavoli, 80, will be present with two lots, both of them from his worldly-known ‘Heech’ series which are calligraphic sculptures (of the Persian word heech literally meaning zilch) in bronze or neon. Among his many long-standing projects, ‘Heech’ perhaps best exemplifies Tanavoli’s work. Since 1965, he has made hundreds of ‘Heech’ sculptures, Iranart.ir reported.

One of Tanavoli’s works in the auction include a 24-cm bronze sculpture ‘Heech on a Chair’, that is estimated to fetch between $11,000 and $17,000, and another 90-cm red Heech estimated at $20,000-$25,000.

Nasser Assar (1928-2011) is another Iranian with two works at the auction. One is a framed abstract composition, dark oil on canvas. Created in 1960, the work is estimated at $8,400-14,000. The other named ‘L’Oiseau Persan’ is also a framed painting, oil on canvas that should fetch $8,400-$14,000.

Assar is one of the seminal protagonists of the Iranian modernist movement. His works mark both a compositional departure from the academic formalism of the turn of the century, and a clear thematic circumvention of the dominant neo-traditionalist orthodoxy of his time.

His canvases are wrought with a strong sense of conceptual duality derived from the inner-collation of calligraphy and landscape. Taken compositionally, Assar’s depictions are built up of pseudo calligraphic oriental letterforms set in an ethereal, polytonal landscape. Yet within the composition itself, letterforms and natural forms are inseparable, having seamlessly permeated their surroundings, the auction’s website wrote.

Painting ‘Tree of Life’ from the nature series of Franco-Iranian painter and installation artist Sassan Behnam-Bakhtiar, estimated at $14,000-$21,000, and ‘A View of the Bretagne Port’, a framed painting by Abolghassem Saidi, Iran’s first-generation modern artist, ($11,000-$17,000) are the two other works of Iranians in the auction.