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Bahram Dabiri

Rouin Pakbaz commented on the Arya Gallery exhibitio­n that:

In practicing his art, Dabiri has, in his recent paintings, reached his desired objectives. Mastery in his choice of colors, facility in design, uniformity in creativeness, polymorphous positioning of elements in the depictions, and a firm basis for his imaging, are all plainly observable features in these paintings. The thoughtfully conceived order apparent in most of the drawings, manifest a kind of spontaneity and free flowing expression of action. But amongst the most important new elements to emanate from Dabiri’s current works, is the basis upon which the quest arises and the complex message represented by the images. By use of visible contrivances, he succeeds in conveying the puzzling and hidden meanings of his messages to the viewer.

His message, especially in his depiction of seated women, is most illuminating. Movements made visible by the use of color, fusion of shapes, and the synergy of shadowy forms and figures, seemingly half protruding in relief, all tend to draw the attention of the viewer to the painting while at the same time, inspiring a sense of excitement.

However the presence of pastel shades of color in the renderings, by giving a placid and mild rhythm to the creative and decorative depictions, produce a relative symmetry to the overall form and thereby bring back a calm stability to the paintings.

The canvases do not ascribe to either a fixed time or place. The reason for the presence of beings and objects in the paintings, are, at once, both real and imaginary. The looks and movements awaken a long past memory and at the very same time, forebode a future event. A murky and bothersome question arises about existence, which stops the routine daily cycle of life for a moment. But, in that fleeting moment, no finite answer to this question can be given. The existence of anything pivots on the border between certainty and doubt. Now we ask ourselves, what is the thing that we can believe in Dabiri’s world? Is it the permanence of fiction or the inconstancy of reality? Which one does the artist chose when he is faced with the duality of physical reality as opposed to spiritual existence? Is it the acclamation of life, love, and beauty or fear of the loss of these graces? It is in this manner that Dabiri compels his viewers to start a mental discussion within themselves. Therein lies his success and this success was not easily achieved.

Najaf Daryabandari, author and translator, wrote about the same exhibition in the Adineh Magazine:

The record of Dabiri’s paintings over the past twenty years is in fact a journey in the history of contemporary art. It is apparent that it is only abstract art that has never attracted the artist. In his present works, Dabiri has reached the stage, wherein he can forgo his skills and leave his hands free to sketch and decide upon the use of colors. What we see in the current exhibition is a collection of his last years’ works in which, in my opinion, we can observe his movement towards maturity and simplicity. In these works the colors are subdued and mellow, usually blue, gray, and brown, with the lines being soft and flowing. The sizes of his works have been reduced and replaced with works of shallow or no spatial depth at all. The works are mostly compositions of an abstract nature but in most of them there is a human presence. In particular the use of a familiar woman’s face, usually with an unfinished profile, that resembles the painte’s signature, applied with a fast flourish. This visage gives a kind of abstraction to Dabiri’s recent works, and renders a strong image to the paintings as if the painter has written poetry with his colors and lines. Bahram Dabiri is a modern professional painter with more or less the same characteristics that one would expect from such an artist.

Hamid Rahmati, critic, writes in the Adineh Magazine:

Dabiri adopts various techniques equally and simultaneously. But being familiar with the media revolution, he willingly makes use of symbols, legends, and recognized historical visual elements. In this process he is more concerned with the symbolism rater than their content. The painter by utilizing these symbols, takes us to the historical dawn of his works, and thereby leads us to the era where this new school was founded. This school that created a new horizon resulting in fundamental developments in painting. At last having passed through those challenging periods with their volatile changes, we have now arrived at the point that the artist can patiently view the past. He now instead of replacing those symbols, has elected to coexist with them.

Dabiri is forced to vacate his atelier that he has had for twenty years. He is therefore drawn to other workshops and therein gains various new experiences in the functional arts.

Najaf Daryabandari stated in the Hamshari Newspaper that:

One of the characteristics of modern artists is to constantly seek new materials and techniques which have never been used before. The technique of namad mali (felt beating) is a very primitive craft dating back to early man. The innovation in Bahram Dabiri’s felt works, is in his ability to mix and blend modern art with an old craft. There is an old saying that says man can always increase his knowledge but not the opposite. In my opinion this precept could well apply to one who wishes to interweave these elements. Because the essence of primitive art such as namad mali lies in its simplicity and naive existence, it is therefore difficult if not virtually impossible, for a modern artist to be able to do this. A felt rug that has the image of a goat, a flower, or a bush thereon, brings to mind the POL KALEH works, which are among the most successful examples of a modern artist’s endeavors to penetrate the soul of a simple felt craftsman.

Ahmad Reza Ahmadi, author, writes about these works:

The faces and features of his women reach out from the painting and in the entanglements of metal, lose themselves. His pigeons in the blue coloring and rust of metal have become mortal this time. Bahram has come to earth.

Taraneh Yaldah, architect, urban developer, and critic writes in the Akhbar Newspaper:

Bahram Dabiri is a true artist. He understands balance and knows how to reach the limits and also how to pass them. He blends these all together. He has been playing with light and color for years. But his unique essence of his specialty is in his constant search to comprehend new phenomena and to use them in creating new and different pieces of work. With a full head, Dabiri pays attention to details thereby creating a totality of art each time creating a work of art in which love, beauty, and finesse are all present. Bahram Dabiri is an artist of today that carries with him all the world’s art cultures of the past. He is sincere, frank, and extremely proud. He says, “One has to be pure, unadulterated, and distinguished.”

Bahram Dabiri - Metamorphsis

Bahram Dabiri thinks these thoughts, puts them into practice, and emerges successfully therefrom. Taking those primitive murals of the cavemen, he puts spears and bows in their hands and creates “Centaur”, which in fact is himself. He, who was born in the month of December, is the offspring of Zeus and Centaur, under the sign of Sagittarius, wounded and in pain. For Bahram Dabiri all the women in the world are Goddesses of fertility and the harbingers of peace. So it is hardly surprising to see images of women in all his current works. He is able to use his visual words everywhere and in any medium, represent his designs powerfully. This is because he not only has something to say but also knows the language of communication and most of all is totally in control of the tools of his tradecraft in the varied and different fields of his endeavors.

Bahram Dabiri - Paintings behind the glass

The Golestaneh Magazine article stated:

What Dabiri has achieved in these works has two important aspects. The first is in reviving a Qajar period traditional art form: that is painting on glass. Secondly it is the introduction of his own special elements and techniques into these paintings. Meanings of an intellectual, imaginary, and symbolic nature are interwoven in the framework of Dabiri’s glass paintings. Dabiri is not following traditional art; rather he is pursuing tradition in art.

Bahram Dabiri - Painting on Seaside

Ali Asghar Gharabaghi in the Golestaneh Magazine, issue number 30, states:

The profuse variation in Dabiri’s works is due to his inborn questing and capacity for the creation of novel ideas. Whilst all this variation is carried out on an expansive field, yet it is contained in a special circle of thought. He continually gives human shape to artistic forms, and depicts humans artistically. His endeavors are all geared to give earthly and tangible shape to meanings. It is for this reason that even his epical figures seem to be within reach and touch of the viewers. This magical style and form of expression makes it unnecessary for Dabiri to utilize others as tools to explain his feelings. When he paints human beings, their actuality and legitimacy are presented as realities, and thus, consciously or subconsciously, he fathoms the depths of the psychology of the post modernist style. Post-modernism believes these psychological depths to be equal to the peak of artistic creation this is the same type of depth which changes the artist from one canvas to the next, and entangles him with a new feeling. Each and every feeling is a magical spell that bewitches the artist. The artist tries, with the help of his painting, to break yet another frame of this magical spell.

BRIEF REVIEW OF LIFE & WORKS

Bahram Dabiri was born in the city of Shiraz, Iran in the year of the Tiger, 1950, under the sign of Sagittarius, whose symbol, the Centaur with bow and arrow figure greatly in his works. Looking at the reliefs and sculptures on the walls of nearby Persopolis and the splendid inscription of the Naqsheh Rustam Monument, are amongst the artist’s treasured childhood memories.
At the age of twelve, without encouragement or tutelage but strictly on his own, Dabiri started his career in what he likes to call “The Paintings”.
In 1966, his family moved from Shiraz to Tehran, the capital of Iran, and one year later he held his first professional exhibition at the Sepid Gallery.
In 1970 he was accepted into the Fine Arts Department of Tehran University, and received his undergraduate degree in painting some four years later.
Meanwhile he met and married a fellow student, namely Simin Ekrami, who, apartbfrom being a fine sculptress in her own right, gave him stability and security in his home life. Simin and Bahram have a daughter and son who are both at University.

Profile of the Painter’s Works

Upon close examination of Bahram Dabiri’s works to date, his mental and artistic vision can be divided into three more or less well defined periods.

1971-1978 ROMANCE

These works start from his university days and continue for a few years thereafter.
At university he was greatly influenced by the works of Bosch and Bruegel, the Elder.
They are mostly romantic and surrealistic works paintings with vivid flash colorings, which, at one and the same time, reflect both his dreams and nightmares. The works contain lines and nude bodies, his two obsessions in this period, which kept him working night and day, for long and endless hours.

1979-1983 LARGE

This period coincides with the onset of revolution and turmoil in Iran. Greatly influenced by social emotions, he worked on ‘larger than life’ canvases, in an effort to try to capture the tremendous upheavals occurring around him in Iran. His canvases are full of historic and social messages addressed to the Iranian nation as a whole.

1984-Present ENLIGHTENMENT

An energetic and endless quest to continually experience and experiment new materials and techniques, permeates this period. Dabiri finds his spiritual mentor in Pablo Picasso, who becomes his alter ego. The contents of the works include global mythology, elements of Persian historic and artistic heritage, and still-life studies. His quest for wider experience, led him to emulate and enhance the styles of the Shiraz and Manish schools of painting (two accepted methodologies of Iranian painting) in his recent works. During this era he has also turned his hand to the functional arts in an attempt to bring modern art into the ordinary peoples homes. His numerous works with ceramics, forged steel, wrought iron, felt, gabbeh and rugs, are all examples of this endeavor.

Exhibitions

2010-Painting Exhibition, Golestan Gallery, Tehran
2009- Group Exhibition, Hana Gallery, Tehran
2009- Group Exhibition, 7 Negah, Tehran
2008- Group Exhibition, Tirgan, Toronto , Canada
2008-Painting Exhibition,Tinsel Painting, Atbin Gallery, Tehran
2007- Painting Exhibition, Arta Gallery, Toronto , Canada
2007- Painting Exhibition, Mekic Gallery, Montreal, Canada
2007- Collages and Drawings based on the Saadie’s poetry, Shirin Gallery, Tehran
2006- “A hand full of dust”, Tiles and Vases, Golestan Galley, Tehran
2006- Painting and Sculpture by Bahram Dabiri, Simin Ekrami, Ramtin Hotel, Tehran
2006- Painting Exhibition, 3 Neek House Gallery, Yazd , Iran
2005- Painting private exhibition, Mah Gallery
2004- Painting private exhibition, “Gol va Morgh” Saadabad Palace, Tehran
2003- Group exhibition paintings entitled “Autumn”, Hotel Mirage, Dubai, UAE
2003- Painting private exhibition, House of artists, Tehran
2003- Group exhibition, Bernak Gallery, Bremen Germany
2002- Painting private exhibition, “Bahram’s Classics” Sayhoon Gallery, Tehran
2002- Group exhibition paintings entitled “Spring”, Hotel Mirage, Dubai. UAE
2001- Paintings, Exclusive Private Exhibition of 20 selected Works, Marbella Country Club, Marbella Spain
2001- Paintings, Bahram Dabiri’s Insects (Metamorphosis), Ave Gallery, Tehran
2001- Mixed Media, Bahram Dabiri’s Inscriptions, Golestan Gallery, Tehran
2001- Mixed Media, “25 Leaves from a Lost Book”, Seyhoon Gallery, Tehran
2000- Paintings, Group Exhibition of Iranian Artists, Chevchenko Museum, Kiev, Ukraine
1999- Mixed Media, “Envelopes”, Niavaran Book City, Tehran 1998- Paintings, “Dabiri’s Roosters”, Golestan Gallery, Tehran 1997- Paintings, Studies in Shiraz School, Private Exhibition, Tehran
1997- Commissioned Works, 120 Collages & 3 Relief’s for Esteghlal Hotel, Tehran
1996- Mixed Media, Group Exhibition, French Embassy, Tehran 1996- Metal & Ceramic Works, Golestan Gallery, Tehran
1996- Felt Rugs, Second Generation, Golestan Gallery, Tehran 1996- Etchings & Drawings, Private Exhibition, Tehran
1995- Felt Rugs, Golestan Gallery, Tehran
1994- Paintings, Sayhoon Gallery, Tehran
1993- Paintings, Group Exhibition, Abi Gallery, Babol
1993- Paintings, Aria Gallery, Tehran
1992- Paintings, Group Exhibition, Abi Gallery, Babol
1992- Paintings, Group Exhibition in support of Bosnian Women & Children
1992- Paintings, 50 Works, Private Exhibition, Tehran
1991- Drawings, Birds Looks, Open-air Exhibition, Darakeh Mountains, Tehran
1991- Collages, Golestan Gallery, Tehran
1990- Paintings, 70 Works, Private Exhibition, Tehran
1989- Paintings, Pafar Gallery, Tehran
1988- Paintings, Nashr Noghreh, Tehran
1987- Drawings, Iranian Mythological Drawings Exhibition, Artist’s workshop, Tehran
1986- Paintings, Portraits Exhibition, Artist’s workshop, Tehran 1985- Paintings & Drawings, Mythological studies Exhibition, Artist’s workshop, Tehran
1984- Present ENLIGHTENMENT
1984- Paintings, Still Life Studio Exhibition, Artist’s workshop, Tehran
1984- Paintings, Landscape Studio Exhibition, Artist’s workshop, Tehran
1982- Paintings, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1981- Paintings, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1981- Paintings, Group Exhibition, Iranian Writers and Artists Assembly, Tehran
1980- Paintings, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1980- Paintings, Group Exhibition , Iranian Writers & Artists Assembly, Tehran
1980- Paintings, Exhibition on Tour, Southern Caspian Coast, Iran 1980- Commissioned Works, Mural Painting, Khazaneh Bus Terminal, Tehran
1979- Paintings, Reopening Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1979- Paintings, Live Painting Show, Bagh Ferdows, Tehran
1979- 1983 LARGE
1978- Paintings, Tehran Gallery
1977- Paintings, Group Exhibition, Derici Gallery, Shiraz
1977- Drawings, Group Exhibition, Naghsh Gallery, Tehran
1976- Paintings, Seyhoon Gallery, Tehran
1976- Paintings, Goethe Institute, Tehran
1971-1978 ROMANCE
1968- Paintings, Sepid Gallery, Tehran ( formerly Royal Tehran Hilton ).

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