Sahand Tabatabai Birth of Adam on the Beach Oil on Linen 2013

Sahand Tabatabai Pencil on Paper 9 x 11"

SRO GALLERY is pleased to present the exhibition Through the Light of the Stars, My Ancestors Gaze at Me.  Recent paintings by Sahand Tabatabai.

Sahand Tabatabai immigrated to the United States from Iran at the age of 17. Tabatabai apprenticed in Persian Art, Oil Painting Method and Technique, in Tehran, Iran.  He was actively engaged in the NYC art scene for 25 years before moving his painting studio to Boulder, CO.  He has shown throughout NYC and Colorado.

As an immigrant his current works draw from Iranian decoration allovers. Tabatabai’s previous works drew from Persian miniature painting, fast food signage ornamentation and early American hard edge Stuart Davis influenced abstraction imagery. Tabatabai inverted the narrative of decorative subjects as passive, placing them throughout a stage labyrinth roadmap where meaning, piled up in dolphins, birds, airplanes, microwaves, swimmers and flowers extracts their familiar context and gives them a life of their own. We were at once in the realm of the familiar and the alien, plunged into the anxiety that is woven through contemporary life.

Tabatabai’s recent work at SRO is based partly upon the surviving monuments of Persian art notable for a tradition concentrating on the general Islamic style of dense decoration, geometrically laid out, that he’s developed first in NYC, then continued in Boulder CO into a supremely elegant and harmonious style combining motifs derived from plants, architecture, fundamental structures described by Particle Physics.

Since the 1970s, Particle Physicists have described the fundamental structure of matter using an elegant series of equations called the Standard Model. The model describes how everything that they observe in the universe is made from a few basic blocks called fundamental particles, governed by four forces.

Tabatabai has used the latticework of brush strokes to build geometric forms, out of which emerge faint landscapes that dialogue with the Iranian folklore he embraces: a house, a shore, a family, a constellation, a mud wall, to create paintings of incremental, seemingly endless possibility.  More recently, a particular narrative has evolved- contained in these traditional stretched canvases - a a cumulative transformation of mythic Combines that hint at a darker, perhaps more perfect world, where night melts into abstract Persian dreams, referencing Van Gogh, German Experssionists like Feininger and Kupka, or Jack Tworkov.  It is very colorful and joyous, but it's also on a grid, so itis serious phenomenology of painting.  Tabatabai has conceptual ides, he has a system, but also something arises from the combination within beautiful metaphysical and occultist anxieties of his sight.

Sahand Tabatabai's paintings are included in the Denver Art Museum's Contemporary Art Collection, The Museum of Western North Carolina University and have been reviewed in Art News, among other publications. 

Don Doe, Cecilia Whittaker-Doe

catalog available