"Ali Banisadr : Foreign Lands"

Het Noordbrabants Museum, Den Bosch ,The Netherlands

April 5 - August 25, 2019

Press Release

The Het Noordbrabants Museum is delighted to present Ali Banisadr: Foreign Lands, the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in Europe. On view from 6 April to 25 August 2019, the retrospective takes its title from one of Banisadr's most elaborate landscapes, Foreign Lands (2015). Featuring over twenty paintings and works on paper from across a decade of the artist’s career, it will also include a new painting Hold the Fort (2019), created especially for the exhibition.

Ali Banisadr (b.1976, Tehran, Iran) moved to the United States as a child. In 2000, he started his training as an artist at the School of Visual Arts in New York the city where he still lives and works today. His work is a careful balancing act between chaos and composure, abstract and figurative painting and drawing. His complex, expansive paintings are rich with figurative allusions rooted in autobiographical narratives, sonic recollection, invented stories, world history, collective memory and mythology. His paintings represent a physiological space where ‘things from the past, the present, and the future can dwell at the same time’1

Sound is an integral part of Banisadr’s practice, influencing the way that he works. He has synaesthesia (a condition where one sense, such as sight, simultaneously triggers another, like sound) and within his work he hears an internal sound which guides him on the composition of his paintings. Renowned art historian Robert Hobbs, author of the essay in the exhibition catalogue has described how this has “enabled him to focus on energy and rhythm as crucially important aspects of his innovative art.”2 Other writers have noted that whilst his work has been compared to Hieronymous Bosch or Wassily Kandinsky his dynamic brushwork brings to mind ‘the dashing rhythms and bold symphonic timbres of Sergei Prokofiev or Igor Stravinsky.’3

‘The spirit of an era can be captured in many ways – through music, writing, architecture ... for me, understanding issues, personal memories, or human conditions holistically can only happen through drawing or painting. This is an unsettling time for our country and the world. I want to capture that energy and record what it feels like to live right now.’ – Ali Banisadr

Ali Banisadr will be in conversation with Iranian-Dutch writer Kader Abdolah on Friday 5 April 2019.

1 Phong Bui, “Art in Conversation: Ali Banisadr,” Brooklyn Rail2 Robert Hobbs, “Ali Banisadr: The Art of Sensation”
1 Robert Barry, “Ali Banisadr” Frieze

Catalogue and audio tour

A richly illustrated catalogue accompanies the exhibition, written by art historian Robert Hobbs and is published by WBOOKS. The catalogue will be available in Dutch and English from 6 April 2019 and can be bought at the Museum Shop and in bookshops. The audio tour in the exhibition, introduces a selection of the paintings by Ali Banisadr and is accompanied by a soundtrack selected by the artist.

With thanks to

Ali Banisadr: Foreign Lands is made possible and supported by the Renschdael Art Foundation, Blain|Southern and Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac.

About Ali Banisadr

Ali Banisadr was born in Tehran, IR in 1976, and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA from The New York Academy of Art, New York, and his BFA from The School of Visual Arts, New York,. Banisadr’s work has been shown extensively internationally and has been the subject of numerous group exhibitions, including The Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR (2018); Museum of Fine Arts Houston (MFA), Texas, TX (2017); The British Museum, London, UK (2016); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2013); Lehmbruck Musem, Duisburg, DE (2013); The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (2012), Love me /Love me Not, The 55thInternational Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy and Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (S.M.A.K), Ghent, BE (2010).

His work is in major public and private collections internationally including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA, The British Museum, London UK, ,Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, CA, Museum der Moderne, Salzburg, AT and Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY among others.

Contact Het Noordbrabants Museum, Communication and Marketing department Greetje Tops, T +31 (0)73 – 6877 819 or pers@hnbm.nl

Images and catalogue

For high-res images and a biography of the artist, please visit www.hnbm.nl/press/banisadrA PDF of the catalogue (WBOOKS) is available on request.

Photo credit: Joep Jacobs