May 25, 2021
In Art News
Upon viewing Ali Banisadr's Red, the spectator is immediately struck with a sense of catastrophe. The painting, which shifted from blue hues to red in January 2020, served as Banisadr's response to the global spread of the coronavirus—a time when the artist foresaw an impending crisis and sought to reflect that in his work. As is the case for most of his art, Banisadr's expressionistic sense of abstraction is driven by storytelling and owed in part to experiencing states of synesthesia. His work is full of lines that dive into cavernous depths of space and brimming with shapes suggesting the figurative presence of human and nonhuman subjects. Born from sound, sight, and the inspiration of literature such as The Odyssey and Dante's Inferno, Banisadr channels different energies into his paintings to create vivid works from contemplative pastel washes and dramatic bursts of reds, greens, and blues. Currently, his work is on exhibit in a solo show at Kasmin Gallery in New York until June 26, 2021. To discover more about his practices and how Banisadr incorporates history to create his abstractions, please see his recent article with ARTnews. Ali Banisadr, The Messenger (2021). Oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin Gallery. Ali Banisadr, Red (2020). Oil on linen. Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin Gallery.
Apr 05, 2021
In Art News
With the global pandemic and the upheaval of this era, the Ethiopian-born abstract artist Julie Mehretu has deeply considered the role of intuition and how it has guided her artistic method in a time of social and emotional disruption. Intuition has been a guiding light for her newest site-specific work for the Whitney Museum, which is aimed at capturing the roots of the migrant experience by centering the Statue of Liberty as a literal point of entry to the United States and, conceptually, as a departure point in which one may consider the history of migration and its poignant impact on the lives of many in America. Her pieces are raw, visceral, and inspired, with her stylistic approach creating a range of artworks that are simultaneously fluid and fractured to signify the nature of the American experience. For those interested in hearing more, Mehretu’s interview with Artnet details her artistic process and approach to what has proved to be a particularly sensual moment for her. Julie Mehretu, Loop (B. Lozano, Bolsonaro eve) (2019–20). Courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery. Photo credit: Tom Powel Imaging. Copyright: Julie Mehretu.