Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, born 1937) Mir + 54 + Bz + S
Lot 37*
Charles Hossein Zenderoudi
(Iran, born 1937)
Mir + 54 + Bz + S
Sold for £245,000 (US$ 324,403) inc. premium

Lot Details
Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, born 1937) Mir + 54 + Bz + S Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, born 1937) Mir + 54 + Bz + S
Charles Hossein Zenderoudi (Iran, born 1937)
Mir + 54 + Bz + S
oil on canvas, framed
signed "Hossein Zenderoudi" and dated "1962" in Farsi (lower right), inscribed "Hossein Zenderoudi 1962", further inscribed "Mir + 54 + Bz + S" in Farsi on the verso, executed in 1962
150 x 142cm (59 1/16 x 55 7/8in).

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Property from a private collection, Geneva
    Christie's, Dubai, International Modern & Contemporary Art, 31 October 2007, lot 133

    Literature:
    Saeb Eigner, Art of the Middle East, Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran , 2010, illustrated on page 200

    This work is sold with a photo certificate from the archive Charles-Hossein Zenderoudi and will be included in the catalogue raisonné currently being prepared.

    "To create a painting, I begin with the preliminary study, which consists of sketches on paper, followed immediately by the painting of letters and colouring on canvas... I am thus able to immediately express my spontaneous feelings on canvas. Sometimes I leave a canvas to work on another, this is like improvisation in music, for I treasure freedom more than anything else. I couldn't be what I am if I didn't have freedom to express my lyricism. I don't believe in teaching painting, since I do not believe that technical training is required to make one a great painter. Painting can be done with any tool or any piece of equipment, I believe all schools of fine art, all over the world, should be shut down"
    - Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, Midi Libre, No 9401, 9 April 1971


    " Mir+54+BZ+S - THE SEMINAL 1962 WORK BY CHARLES HOSSEIN ZENDEROUDI


    "The Saqqa-Khaneh style formally began with the works of Charles Hossein Zenderoudi. The outlines of figures were given a geometric order; intricate words were spelled out with care; spaces in and around circles, square and rectangles were painted in green and bronze accompanied by a black that collectively comprised the colours of Shi'ite mourning ceremonies. By looking at these Zenderoudi canvases, the viewer is reminded of Shi'ite shrines and assemblies. Whilst the atmosphere is a religious one, it is neither as lofty or grand as that of the Shah Mosque in Isfahan or as spacious and impersonal as that of the Sepahsalar Masque in Tehran, rather it reflects the intimacy and closeness of the neighbourhood Saqqa-Khaneh"
    - 1977, Karim Imami

    Mir+54+BZ+S

    It is impossible to understand the trajectory of 20th century Iranian art without the work of Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, of which Mir+54+BZ+S perhaps stands as the most emblematic, well known and sophisticated example. Imposing in scale and captivating in its complexity, this overpoweringly intricate depiction is the apotheosis of Zenderoudi's oeuvre, replete with the elaborate flair with which he captured the popular aesthetic of Persian religious and talismanic imagery.

    Painted in 1962, "Mir + 54 + Bz + S" harks from the genesis of Zenderoudi's oeuvre, where his work was at the height of its intricacy, exhibiting a supreme command of the calligraphic, geometric and numerological patterns of traditional Islamic art and local shrine architecture.

    Executed just over a year after Zenderoudi relocated to Paris, Mir+54+BZ+S bears all the hallmarks of an artist at the zenith of his fecundity; emboldened by the prospect of propagating his oeuvre to a new international audience, 1962 served as a creative high watermark for Zenderoudi, with another masterpiece from the same year, K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi, now deservedly hanging in the permanent collection at New York's MOMA next to Matisse's fauvist masterpiece "Dance (I)"


    Appearing for the first time in the Market in 2007, the work sold for a then record price; Zenderoudi would later become the most valuable Iranian painter of the 20th century, a record he holds to this day. A composition that is widely considered to be the archetypal Zenderoudi from his formative period, the present work is without a doubt the definitive masterpiece of an artist at the height of his creative prowess


    CHARLES HOSSEIN ZENDEROUDI

    Charles Hossein Zenderoudi was born in 1937 in Tehran. After his preliminary studies in mid 1950s, he entered the Fine Art College of Tehran University to study painting.

    In his teens, Charles Hossein Zenderoudi stumbled across a sacred altar in the streets of Tehran, an encounter which would later lead him to establish the single most influential modernist art movement in Iran. The Saqqa-Khaneh movement, which takes its name from a type of religious shrine in the form of a drinking fountain, focuses heavily on the depiction of traditional Persian symbols and motifs related through a strictly contemporary artistic agenda.

    He left Iran for Paris in 1961 and chose painting as his career. He met artists like Alberto Giacometti, Stephen Poliakoff and Lucio Fontana and writers such as Eugène Ionesco. Zenderoudi has received many accolades and won many international awards, beginning with the biennials of Venice in 1960 and São Paolo in 1961. After the 1963 acquisition by New York's MOMA of his K+L+32+H+4, , most of the world's prominent art institutions have sought to include his works in their collections including London's British Museum, Paris's Centre Pompidou and Copenhagen's Statens Museum, among others. He has been living in Paris and New York since 1961.

    Catalogue images courtesy of the Archives Charles-Hossein Zenderoudi.
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