Following the last issue of Selections, Frequently Asked Questions in Art, we continue our quest to analyse what surrounds us in the art world. However, this time, for our 21 Artists and a Biennial issue, we take you backstage to expose you to the world of research in the 21st century. Because the most important part of our work is research, we analyse both the material we receive and what we find, basing ourselves on today’s most common search tools: online search engines, online encyclopaedia, social media, carefully written press releases, email exchanges with the artist’s gallery and the artist him/herself. After laying down the information we’ve gathered onto our pages, we invite you to make your own analysis.
b. 1962. Tehran, Iran
FOR HIM, ART IS DEFINED THROUGH THE “PROCESS” OF CREATION.
Portrait of Reza Lavassani
Courtesy of Assar Art Gallery
Reza Lavassani was born in 1962 in Tehran, Iran, where he currently lives and works. He has held several solo exhibitions in Tehran and has been the subject of numerous national and international group exhibitions and art fairs. He has been the recipient of several awards including UNESCO’s Noma Concourse in 2007 and 1994 and the first prize of Tehran’s 4th Biennial of Sculpture and 6th Biennial of Illustration. His work has been included in a number of publications inside and outside Iran, in addition to being part of several important private collections.
Believing in design as ideology and
drawing, painting and sculpting – the
three art forms which he masters – as
subcategories to the design thinking
and methodology, Lavassani considers
himself mainly a designer whose aesthetic
visualisation takes a two- or threedimensional
form now and again.
1991 BA, Painting, Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran, Iran
He felt after graduating that his degree had not been enough to put him on the “true path of painting.” For this reason he spent years studying philosophy in general, and mysticism in particular, while being concerned with the basic meanings of mythology, sociology, religion, history and so on.
2007 Noma Concourse, Tokyo, Japan
2007 Exhibition of Rumi’s Stories,
Niavaran Cultural Centre, Tehran, Iran
2006 4th Tehran Sculpture Biennial, Tehran
Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Iran
1999 6th International Illustration
Biennial, Tehran Museum of
Contemporary Arts, , Tehran, Iran
1993 2nd International Flower and
Plant Exhibition Tehran, Iran
1994 Noma Concourse, Tokyo, Japan
Taking inspiration from ancient Persian poetry and mythology, Reza Lavassani gives physical dimension to his ingenuity through his recreation and representation of classic notions in a unique contemporary manifestation.
He sees life as an ongoing cycle,
and thus, his artistic approach, ideological
slant and craftsmanship all become one and shape his outstanding creations.
ASSAR ART GALLERY PROUDLY PRESENTS LIFE, A PAPIER-MÂCHÉ
INSTALLATION BY REZA LAVASSANI.
In his latest exhibition, Reza Lavassani showcases a
gallery-filling papier-mâché sculpture in the shape
of a table, a detailed tablecloth, some tableware
and a colossal chandelier of the same material,
as resemblances to life. By starting at one end
and finishing at the other the viewers walk through
the journey of life and witness different phases
of life cycle. His ultimate artistry is realized
in the Persian literal and mythical motifs he has
dexterously made on the table legs as his subjective
declaration, exclaiming the transformative potential
of aesthetics in which he strongly believes.
The use of recycled paper in his
uniquely designed large-scale
papier-mâché sculptures is a
perfect example of how his
ideology affects his methodology
and to what extent his sculptures
refer to their materiality. During
the actual act of making of a
sculpture, Lavassani’s initial
drawings take on a new life and
the virtual borders between
physical and intellectual labor
are torn down and thinking
becomes a form of making and
vice versa: a seamless synthesis
of theory and practice.
Three years in the making, the show is a lyric narrative
of life’s splendour and glory and an emblematic
visualisation of passage of time. An extension to
his previous exhibitions at Assar Art Gallery, the
astounding presentation portrays the artist’s
perpetual belief in recreation and the eternal cycle of life,
executed in his signature aesthetic language.
A master craftsman, Lavassani creates works that are defined by his very personal visual interpretation of elements he chooses from poetry and
mythological fables. In his work, he is particularly careful about the approach to the process of art making and uses his own developed techniques to create some of the most unique and adventurous shapes and forms.
HE IS AN IRANIAN PAINTER, SCULPTOR, ILLUSTRATOR AND STAGE DESIGNER
HE IS KNOWN FOR HIS HIGHLY PHILOSOPHICAL EXPRESSIONS IN HIS ARTISTIC ACTIVITIES.
VENICE BIENNIAL – REZA LAVASSANI
Location: Fondaco Marcello, San Marco
VENICE BIENNALE EXHIBITS REZA LAVASSANI ARTWORKS
Italy’s Venice Biennale has openend its door to a new, selected artwork by 57-year-old Iranian contemporary artist Reza Lavassani. Tehran-born and based, Lavassani, practices on various media. He began working on the installation Life in 2012 and worked on the piece for more than three years. Through a deliberate choice of papier-maché, the artist underlines the literal and symbolic significance of recycling. The piece is a lyric narrative of life’s splendour and glory and emblematic visualisation of the passage of time. The awe-inspiring presentation, executed in Lavassani’s signature aesthetic language, portrays the artist’s belief in recreation and the eternal cycle of life. Life is a focus on theatricality, sculpture and installation. Lavassani is taking part in the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia (Venice Biennale) – in Italy. The program runs from May 11 to November 24.
A version of this article appeared in print in Selections, 21 Artists and a Biennial #49, pages 116 – 121.