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DARKNESS to BLISS

18 September - 04 October


SHAHRZAD GHAFFARI

DARKNESS to BLISS

18 September - 04 October GROSVENOR GALLERY 21 Ryder Street London SW1Y 6PX CONTACT Conor Macklin Charles Moore Kajoli Khanna art@grosvenorgallery.com +44 (0) 207 484 7979


INTRODUCTION Grosvenor Gallery is pleased to announce our forthcoming exhibition Shahrzad Ghaffari, Darkness to Bliss Darkness to Bliss is Shahrzad Ghaffari’s first solo exhibition in London and features new works by the artist. A descendant of the renowned Iranian painters Saniol-Molk Ghaffari and Kamal-ol-Molk Ghaffari,Shahrzad continues a family tradition that spans more than 150 years.

Darkness to Bliss reflects Shahrzad’s metamorphosis as an artist. Where once her art harnessed the clarity of legible words to bring a message into focus, it is now probing ever further into the realms of ambiguity and feeling. The word – the sacred logos of ancient calligraphy is stripped of its formality and dissolves into bold, swirling shapes. Radiant colours sweep across the canvas, spiraling into the heart of experience unchained.

Having exhibited in solo and group shows around the world, and been collected across continents, Shahrzad comes to London with a fresh body of work that maps abstract journeys through the complexities of love, emotion and spiritual conflict.

Oscillating between the primal and the poetic, the dance between word and impulse, between expression and intangible feeling, locks together into an elusive paradox that lies at the heart of the human condition. Internal meets external in a

dissonant yet mesmerizing harmony that opens itself to subjective flows in the mind of the beholder. Darkness to Bliss is anything but a linear progression. There is no beginning and there is no end, just the infinite dualism that is the elemental core of unfathomable eternity. Love, loss, loneliness, sacrifice, yearning, surrender and ultimately redemption all draw their power from shades of the abstract. And in this series, Shahrzad distils beauty, melancholy and inspirational passion into silent reflection, touching the darkness and yet caressing fleeting bliss.

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Inspired by Rumi, the paintings of Shahrzad Ghaffari channel the elusive, mystical message of his poetry and weave them into a profound new visual language. The essence of her work explores Rumi’s timeless themes – the relationship of the soul to the divine, the lover to the beloved, and their yearning for physical and metaphysical unity where human love at its purest melts into the sacred.

of the soul as it soars towards the divine. The appeal of her work is instant and disarming. The viewer is drawn willingly and joyously into Rumi’s world of enlightenment, whirling through the heights of spiritual ecstasy. Yet each experience is different, each message at once intimate and universal, each story individual, each experience unique, and each fragment transformational.

Often captured in dazzling colours writhing through the abyss of the material world, her Naghashi Khat, or the painted word, sings the final moment of the dance of the Sama. There is a primal energy, a relief and a triumph as the painting seduces the viewer to stand witness to the blissful flight

Zahra Faridany Akhavan, PhD Islamic Art, Harvard University

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Everlasting Sun, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, diptych Each 70 x 70 cm. (27 ½ x 27 ½ in.) Total 70 x 140 cm. (27 ½ x 55 in.)

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Yearning, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 91.5 x 61 cm. (36 x 24in.)

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Constant, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 122 cm. (48 x 48in.)

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Defeated, 2013 Acrylic on aluminium 67.5 x 77.5 cm. (26 ½ x 30 ½ in.)

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Your Eden, 2013 Acrylic and glitter on aluminium 75 x 90 cm. (29 ½ x 35 ½ in.)

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Your Though, 2013 Acrylic on aluminum 61 x 80 cm. (24 x 31 ½ in.)

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Raindrops on my dust, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 91 x 91 cm. (35 他 x 35 他 in.)

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Edge of Madness, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, diptych Each 91 x 91 cm. (35 他 X 35 他 in.) Total 91 x 182cm. (35 他 x 71 他 in.)

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In the Midst of Darkness, Light Persists, 2013 Acrylic and mixed media on canvas Diptych Each 152 x 122 cm. (60 x 48in.) Total 152 x 244 cm. (60 x 96in.)

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Moonlight, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, diptych Each 40 x 40 cm. (15 他 x 15 他 in.) Total 40 x 80 cm. (15 他 x 31 村 in.)

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In Love / Insane- Rumi, 2012 Mixed media on canvas, diptych Each 61 x 61 cm. (24 x 24 in.) Total 61 x 122cm. (24 x 48 in.)

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Night, Day, Bliss, 2013 Acrylic on canvas, diptych Each 152 x 122 cm. (60 x 48in.) Total 152 x 244 cm. (60 x 96in.)

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Night, 2013 Mixed media on canvas 183 x 122 cm. (72 x 48in.)

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Shelter me, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 122 x122 cm. (48 x 48in.)

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Wave, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 60.5cm. (48 x 23 他 in.)

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I am all Wisdom- Rumi, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 122 cm. (48 x 48in.)

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I am all Life- Rumi, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 122 cm. (48 x 48in.)

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I am all Love- Rumi, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 122 x 122 cm. (48 x 48in.))

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Colouring the Void, 2013 Acrylic on canvas 121.5 x 183 cm. (47 他 x 72in.)

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BIOGRAPHY Born in 1972, Shahrzad became serious about painting at the age of 12. As a descendant of the renowned Iranian painters Sani-ol-Molk Ghaffari and Kamalol-Molk Ghaffari, Shahrzad continues a family tradition that spans more than 150 years. After training under Mostafa Dashti in Tehran, she studied graphic design at Azad University until 1994. During that period she began displaying her work at many group exhibitions. Shahrzad continued to paint, taking part in exhibitions in Kuching, Malaysia (1995) as well as two exhibitions in Vancouver, Canada (1997). Her recent works have been acquired privately by collectors in the U.S., Europe and the Middle East. In 2010 she took part in group exhibitions at the Golestan, Hanna and Haft Negah Galleries. In 2011 she held her first solo-show at the Golestan Gallery in Tehran, which received critical acclaim from the media and collectors, followed in 2012 by a successful exhibition in Paris at Galerie Nicolas Flamel.

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EXHIBITIONS: Kutching 1995 Vancouver 1997 SIMAB DESIGN STUDIO Tehran 2008 SIMAB DESIGN STUDIO Tehran 2009 HANNA GALLERY GROUP EXHIBITION Tehran 2010 GOLESTAN GALLERY GROUP EXHIBITION Tehran 2010 HAFT NEGAH GALLERIES GROUP EXHIBITION Tehran 2010 POPPLI KHALATBARI CHARITY AUCTION London 2010 GOLESTAN GALLERY SOLO EXHIBITION Tehran 2011

POPPLI KHALATBAI CHARITY AUCTION London 2011 GOLESTAN GALLERY GROUP EXHIBITION Tehran 2011 HAFT NEGAH GALLERIES GROUP EXHIBITION Tehran 2012 ICAM CHARITY AUCTION Monte Carlo 2012 NICOLAS FLAMEL GALLERY Paris 2012 IBS AUCTION London 2012 GROSVENOR GALLERY Art Dubai 2013 GROSVENOR GALLERY London 2013

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Darkness to bliss- New Works by Shahrzad Ghaffari  

New Works by Shahrzad Ghaffari