Tehran’s Golestan Gallery will showcase a collection of photos of the world’s museums taken by celebrated Iranian calligrapher and painter Mohammad Ehsai in its upcoming exhibit opening on Friday.
Iran Art: Ehsai, 82, took the photos during the late 1960s and early 1970s during his university years.
Entitled “A Treasure Revealed”, the exhibition is Golestan’s first physical showcase since the government has eased pandemic curbs on regular activities.
A book of the same title carrying photos and other pictures by Ehsai will also be introduced during the opening ceremony of the exhibition.
The bilingual book in Persian and English has been compiled by Behzad Hatam.
“A photo of the collection shows a young artist with a cognoscente and admiring look has come to a museum to see, praise and learn more, and at the same time, a curious and playful photographer who doesn’t click the shutter button for everything,” Hatam wrote in a preface to the book published by Nazar in collaboration with Gallery 10.
“He is very selective and patient. A number of Ehsai’s photos depict a communication established between a visitor and an artwork. Some of the photos portray more than a simple look of a visitor to an artwork. With a proper look and patience, Ehsai could have created another artwork,” he added.
Some of the photos carry poetic captions by Ehsai, all of which make the book more noteworthy.
The English chapter of the book has an independent nature. The writer has brought additional explanations to give a non-Iranian reader an exact understanding of what is illustrated in the book.
Calligraphy works and calligraphic paintings by Ehsai have been offered at Iranian and international auction houses over the past decades.
His calligraphic painting named “Yazdan” was offered at £40,000 to 60,000 during the Modern and Contemporary Middle Eastern Art sales at the Bonhams auction in London in November 2020.
In 2017, his calligraphy work was the second most expensive item sold in Tehran during the Baran Auction dedicated to calligraphic paintings and calligraphy works. It fetched 1.6 billion rials (about $39,000).
Photo: Front cover of the book “A Treasure Revealed”.