Mohsen Gallery is pleased to announce “Night Hag,” an exhibition that explores the relationship between history, nature, intuition, and narrative by three young artists: Nahid Behboudian, Milad Jahangiri, and Soheil Mokhtar. Anchored by five sculptures, the exhibition features paintings and drawings that celebrate the talents and offer a wide assortment of works by artists who are beginning to make their marks.
Working in the studio from sketches and using his imagination to create “On the Bed of the Dead Tree” series, Milad Jahangiri blends his oil paints in fluid layers of translucent glazes. With dynamic compositions and high-keyed color combinations, he expresses his strong affinity for nature. His attitude toward nature is marked by both adoration and remorse. He is disappointed that how people use beauteous natural places as secret locations to commit shameless crimes and harm others. He abandoned the flat canvas, trying to do painting on large wooden geometric volumes that seem to help him utilize painting as a tool for all the topics that he deems worthy to be explored.
Starting in mid-16th century in Europe, Papier-mâché has been used for doll heads, molded in two parts from a mixture of paper pulp, clay, and plaster, then glued together, smoothed, painted, and varnished. Similarly, “Sepulcher” is Nahid Behboodian’s series of tintless papier-mâché sculptures that dig into the imagery of fanciful formation of plants and monkeys through accretion of form and material. Her lumpy paper forms emerge from armatures, which are then skinned with layers of papier-mâché, and afterwards, the surface of the sculpture becomes a three-dimensional canvas, seeking artistic playfulness in a new picture plane. Elements sprouting from extremities augment the feeling of growth and accretion, referencing innate potentiality within these fabled objects.
There are multiple interpretations of intuition, which is the main theme Soheil Mokhtar is exploring as an artist. In his Kitab Hikmat al-Ishraq (The Philosophy of Illumination), Shahāb ad-Dīn Suhrawadi interprets intuition as knowledge attained through illumination, which is mystical. In his series called “Detachment,” Mokhtar travels a private path where he can uncover images of his inner self through painting. Rejecting the restrictions against imagery and gestural treatment, playfulness is encouraged in order to open up a new space in which color, paint, and process can freely interact. The result is narrative of all or nothing, in a raw, almost brutish manner, an extreme expressiveness of color, figurative subject-matter, as well as significant surface activity and texturing.