Hossein Valamanesh Out of Nothingness
Wakefield Press | ISBN 9781743050057
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Hossein Valamanesh draws on his Iranian heritage and experience of the Australian landscape and culture to create enigmatic artworks imbued with a disturbing beauty. Born in Tehran, he came to Australia in 1973 aged 24, and has become one of the country's most significant contemporary artists.
Deceptively simple, Valamanesh's work is often made with elemental substances, natural materials and found objects - for example Persian carpets, an old photo of his grandmother or a pair of worn shoes resonating with cultural and personal associations. Inspired by Persian poetry and Sufi philosophy, ambiguous elements in Valamanesh's work open up the play of the imagination, metaphysical questioning and quiet reflection.
Hossein Valamanesh: Out of nothingness traces the development of this unique artist's practice, demonstrating its engagement with intense philosophical questions such as the ephemerality of existence, and relationships between nature and culture.
'My inspirations come from very personal experiences like daily life ... It's like having a conversation with the world around you.' - Hossein Valamanesh
'Valamanesh mines his own cultural history to investigate the human condition. His work prompts a sense of wonder, invites us to suspend disbelief, to dream.' - Sarah Thomas, in Hossein Valamanesh: a survey (Art Gallery of South Australia, 2001)
'In many ways Valamanesh's art is ... beyond intellect, or intellectual explanation ... As a body, his work accumulates, just as the poems of a great poet do. For those of us who have followed Valamanesh's work each exhibition is a bit like viewing instalments of an epic poem.' - Ian Hamilton, Artlink, vol. 25, no. 3, 2005