Ali Banisadr: Motherboard

Sperone Westwater, New York

March 1 – April 19, 2014

Press Release

New York, NY: 30 January 2014 -- Sperone Westwater is pleased to announce an exhibition of new paintings by Ali Banisadr, the artist’s first solo show at the gallery entitled “Motherboard.”

Banisadr’s exuberant paintings oscillate between the abstract and the figurative. Single visceral brush strokes resolve into minute details and subtle narratives, creating compositions of remarkable complexity in which abstraction and figuration co-mingle. The extraordinary intricacy and stereoscopic space in Banisadr’s work has prompted comparison to Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel, as well as Persian miniatures. Critics have also highlighted the connections to the New York School painters of the 40s and 50s.

For Banisadr, painting is a means to reflect visually on his thoughts, memories, and imagination. The artist thinks of his pictures as “encyclopedic worlds” where all elements come together and can be seen instantaneously.  The painting Aleph, 2013, named after the eponymous short story by Jorge Luis Borges, describes a point from where everything can be seen from every angle simultaneously.

Banisadr’s epic canvases, such as Contact, 2013, like his smaller paintings, such as Reflektor, 2013, evidence the artist’s deliberate diffusion of focus. Banisadr’s paintings have no central point or protagonist, thereby avoiding hierarchy to create equilibrium. The large painting Motherboard, 2013, exemplifies this – the work’s four levels suggest earth, civilization, technology, and ether, each being of equal importance. Banisadr explains: “In Motherboard, just as in a computer central processing unit, every component has to function and be active in order for the entire unit to function.” Also significant here is the correlation of movement and sound.  For Banisadr, each color and shape has a sound-like quality which guides the artist in his composition.

Born in Tehran in 1976, Banisadr grew up during the Islamic revolution and the eight-year Iran-Iraq War. In 1988, he and his family left Iran, first to Turkey and then to California. In 2000, he moved to New York City where he currently lives and works. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005, and his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2007.

Since his first solo exhibition in 2008, Banisadr has exhibited in the United States and abroad. The artist’s work has been featured in recent group shows at the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK) in Ghent (2010), Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana in Turin (2012), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (2012), Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles (2013), The Moving Museum in Dubai (2013) as well as in “Love Me/Love Me Not: Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and Its Neighbors” at the 55th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale (2013). Banisadr’s works are in important public collections, including The British Museum, London; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and Museum der Moderne, Salzburg.