hadi tabatabai
Artist Work 

6 Pieces

Exhibit Photos

§ P/p: Exhibit Essay

Exhibit Catalogue

Hadi Tabatabai

by Peter Lodermeyer

The French philosopher Gilles Deleuze once wrote, "Any truly new work of art is simple, light and joyful." If one remains aware of how difficult it is to achieve lightness and simplicity in art, and then considers that true happiness always contains an element of earnest, then one can apply Deleuze's words readily to the work of Hadi Tabatabai. This work is not "truly new" in the sense of searching for some "never before seen" thing, but in the sense of a constant renewal of dialogue with its basic origins. Tabatabai always works with the most elementary, the simplest and emptiest element: the straight line. Horizontals and/or verticals, in repetition, are usually combined as grids, or weaves. No human drama, no messages regarding the artist's subjective states exist—only the absolutely clear and precise existence of the lines in their "state of being." Due to the simplicity of the formal vocabulary (not to be mistaken for formalism) and the intimacy of the formats, the viewers are thrown back upon themselves without having received instructions on how the works wish to be seen for the simple reason that the works already say everything essential. There is nothing that one needs to know before engaging in the act of seeing. Nothing could be more wrong than to ask for the "idea" behind these works or even for the underlying "mathematics." Tabatabai's works are created intuitively and they rely entirely upon the patient, painstaking and even respectful handling of the material. They remain untouched by commonplace definitions such as drawing, painting, relief or sculpture. Whoever dares the difficulty of truly engaging in their simplicity—for nothing today seems less common than the patience necessary for proper concentration upon the work to be viewed without asking for the "meaning" beforehand—will notice that Tabatabai's works are always striving towards the experience of space in its most subtle form, even if they are "only" lines on the surface of paper. Not accidentally was one of Tabatabai's exhibition's titled "The space of a line," because every line, as an elementary act of "spacing," places a front and back and divides light and dark, figure and ground, space and its negation.

In the case of "Weave" all the above has been woven into an extremely dense and tightly linked structure. Essential to the success of these works are their precision and the artist's full concentration upon the process of creation regardless of the hours, days, weeks or even many months which some of his pieces take to complete. "Rightness" is a keyword which Hadi Tabatabai himself uses in this context. His works resemble well-tuned precision instruments that give a decisive, clearly audible sound.

— Peter Lodermeyer
     (courtesy of kunstgaleriebonn)

Peter Lodermeyer was born in Ottweiler (Saar), Germany in 1962. He attended Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitaet in Bonn, Germany receiving multiple degrees in 1983 for Art History, Philosophy, and German Literature. In 1992 he earned a Masters of Arts in Art History and in 1997 a PhD degree in Art History. Since 1999 Peter has been working as an art historian and author for books, artist catalogues, articles in national and international professional magazines, art magazines, and broadcast. In addition he has been active with art exhibitions, organization of and participation in international symposiums, special tours at museums and art fairs, lectures, as well as other speaking engagements.

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