Sohrab Sepehri (Iran, 1928-1980) Untitled

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Lot 14*
Sohrab Sepehri (Iran, 1928-1980)
Untitled
US$ 400,000 - 600,000
£ 310,000 - 470,000

Lot Details
Sohrab Sepehri (Iran, 1928-1980)
Untitled
oil on canvas, signed and dated '72 lower right, framed
120.5 x 180 cm.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    Exhibited at and purchased from the Seyhoon Gallery, Tehran, in the early 1970s.

    I saw not two trees become foes.
    I saw not a willow,
    Sell its shade to the earth.

    An oak happily offers
    Its branch to the raven.
    And wherever there is a leaf,
    My passion blossoms.

    Sohrab Sepehri

    A poet and painter, Sohrab Sepehri is one of the most celebrated Iranian modern artists. Sepehri's nostalgic return to his past, to the garden of his family home in Kashan is reflected in his poetry and paintings. The artist's fascination with nature and his admiration for the tradition of Zen painting after his trip to Japan in 1960 is echoed in a series of tree trunks and branches.

    Mahmoud Kavir, a scholar who has given many lectures on Sepehri, says: "Sepehri paints his poetry and puts poetry in his paintings...He lauds Nature, as an artist who has his roots at the heart of Iranian irfan [mystical, agonistic illumination]. His nature is a place of worship... and in reality it is not the painting of a tree that is represented, but the tree itself..."

    Karim Emami wrote, "...and in these years (the 70s) the paintings of an exhibition were sold on the first couple of nights. And if the painter was ready to repeat (and do series paintings), the line of buyers had no end. But, as witnessed by the owner of the gallery, Sepehri never, not even under severe financial pressure, agreed to exhibit a work that had not sprung from his being, that his hands had drawn but his mind did not confirm."

    Literature:
    Rose Issa, Iranian Contemporary Art, London 2001, p. 20-21.
    R. Pakbaz and Y.Emdadian, 3 pioneers of Iranian Modern Painting: Houshang Pezeshknia, Sohrab Sepehri, Hossein Kazemi, Tehran 2001, p. 160-164 (illustrated, p. 160).

    It is believed that the current owner purchased the work from an exhibition at the Seyhoon Gallery in the early 1970's at the suggestion of Sepehri, as he regarded this piece as the best in his 'Tree' series.
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