Hidden Consciousness

by Mohammad Ehsaei and Hossein Rezvani

Salsali Private Museum (SPM) is pleased to announce the solo exhibition by renowned Iranian artist Mohammad Ehsai.

The exhibition will open on 2 November 2014 and end on 15 January 2015 and will showcase the unique carpets designed by Ehsai.

Rendered in bold and gestural lines, Mohammad Ehsai’s calligraphic forms border between what is real and imaginary, understood and abstract. Colorful lines that were once words can now, from afar, be mistaken for a variety of forms.

In the Ehsai’s latest show at Salsali Private Museum, he presents a series of paintings which explore the abstract formation of words and viewer’s role in their metaphorical and physical de-construction. These works are the patterns of the design of the Carpets that have been created in collaboration with the Hamburg-Tehran based, Iranian Carpet Designer Hossein Rezvani, who received various awards including the Red Dot Design award.

Based on the Ehsai´s drawings, Rezvani´s Atelier in Iran has hand-knotted the 09 carpets by using the finest wool and silk. This is the first time that Ehsai has designed objects for an art exhibition. These carpets are vibrant in energy and determined in form. They are knotted according to traditional Persian style, while incorporating Ehsai’s vibrant and abstract contemporary calligraphic forms. Some of them take the form of colorful geometric shapes, while others look like biomorphic creatures that rhythmically move from one end to the other of each carpet. Ehsai refers to these works as one which alludes to the performance of life – for that he states, “Life is a performance”. His aim through these paintings is to draw from the audience a sense of discourse and a physical need to free ourselves from negative connotations, while also being empowered through multiple layers of meaning.

Master calligrapher and artist Mohammad Ehsai was born in Iran in 1939, where he lives today. He graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran University in 1971, where he later joined the newly established visual art department.

As an artist and educator, Ehsai was excited about the process of self-discovery. He was curious to experience new sensibilities and search for future directions. Inspired by different modern art movements and trends in mass production, such as the Bauhaus and its associated schools, and Swiss and their International Typographic Style, Ehsai was eager to be unique, experimental, and expressive. The Bauhaus style analyzed form in terms of basic geometric elements. Such an approach was understandable by the abstract and geometric language used in the Islamic art and calligraphy. He was also at ease with the use of new material and technology encouraged by modern movements.

Ehsai is commissioned by collectors and patrons across the world. His calligraphic murals appear on important architectural structures and spaces. Ehsai’s works are in several private collections around the world and numerous public collections, including the British Museum, London and the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

As Founder of SPM, I am proud to host this unique show which transforms the Iranian contemporary calligraphy into the creation of objects such as a hand-knotted carpet. I would like to thank Mr. Ehsai for granting this platform of cooperation to the younger generation of Iranian Designers such as Hossein Rezvani and share his vast knowledge with them.

I shall extend my appreciation to Ms. Mehrnoush Fattolahi, Tehran based curator and art advisor,  who supported SPM with her vision, created the Idea of this project and co-curated the show  Hidden Consciousness.