Art What! Arts Museums National Gallery Preview

Art What!: Gagosian Hong Kong to Present Mehdi Ghadyanloo’s First Solo Exhibition in Asia

Mehdi Ghadyanloo, The Iron River, 2022, acrylic and oil on canvas, 55 1/8 × 55 1/8 inches (140 × 140 cm) © Mehdi Ghadyanloo

I’m creating a kind of atmosphere, a space of ambiguity.
—Mehdi Ghadyanloo

Gagosian is pleased to present new paintings and works on paper by Mehdi Ghadyanloo. Opening on 22nd September, this will be his first solo exhibition in Asia.

Ghadyanloo’s paintings are composed with meticulous attention to geometry, color, and chiaroscuro. At once familiar and mysterious, the slides, tunnels, and ladders he depicts are sited in shallow rectilinear chambers. The scenes are illuminated from above by skylights, with painted beams of light that reveal the details of the plastic and metal structures while indicating different times of day. The pieces of playground equipment exist as symbols, monuments to psychological states, as much as they are imagined physical constructions. Absent of children or other figures, they have an enigmatic, monumental presence that prompts nostalgia for the innocence of childhood play while hinting at existential themes.

The trompe l’oeil slides extend the mastery of scale and visual impact that Ghadyanloo has developed, while echoing his fatherly observation of playgrounds’ global appeal. In the Hong Kong exhibition, he additionally explores the theme of dualism in paintings such as The Parallel Love (2022), in which two slides mirror each other’s positions as they spiral through space. The crown surmounting The King’s Speech (2022) invokes a symbol of social hierarchy as a kind of child’s play, while other subjects exhibit impractical or illogical designs. In The Sky Monument (2022), for example, the slide’s bottom segment is disconnected and appears to have been replaced by a ladder. The themes of artificiality and childhood are further explored in The Mystic Messenger (2022), which represents a glossy, multicolored rabbit. Works on paper such as A Blinking Memory (2022) envision the slides and the drama of light and shadow in watercolor.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo runs from 22nd September to 5th November 2022
7/F Pedder Building, 12 Pedder Street, Central, Hong Kong
. For more information, visit their website here

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