A dream is a succession of images or sensations that occur in the mind. A painter of fantastic images and embodied ideas, Zahra Ghyasi holds her fifth solo exhibition, “Locus,” in Mohsen Gallery. The show consists of two painting series, “Libraries” and “Location,” along with a number of her drawing series. Here, “Locus,” a term used in geometry, implies the representation of material and non-material spaces in various geographic and historical locations set in new places with common coordination.
“Libraries” consists of paintings with literary overtones, making journeys to literal and mystical texts in order to depict metaphorical corners of imaginary plains, scary valleys, and forgotten places of the minds of Iranian poets, thinkers, and mystics. In this series, imagination works through the artist’s hand to dig deep into a literary past, in order to suggest a location to set up an everlasting library. Considering the living environments and the regions in which the poets and mystics dwelt, the painter has created images filled with emotions and imagination by assigning light, space, and material that are unique to each one of them. In order to construct her visual thought, Ghyasi has been inspired by the ideas and lives of various figures, such as Nasir al-Din Tusi, Abusa’id Abolkhayr, Nasir Khusraw, Sohrevardi, Ahmad Shamlou, and Sadeq Hedayat.
Apart from the oil painting technique and the familiar compositions, what “Libraries” and “Location” have in common are making journeys and fantasizing. In “Libraries,” however, she takes a skeptical look at the paintings of European Romantic era and their ideals. These mysterious regions are seemingly independent worlds, standing somewhere between the ideas of Romantic painters and the Ghyasi’s painterly notions. These works are landscapes that are either destroyed or on the verge of destruction, still dreaming of eternal glory.