Ali Banisadr / MATRIX 185 at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. Ten paintings and two prints by Banisadr join a selection of works from the Wadsworth collection chosen by the artist, as well as a video collage that Banisadr created to show additional inspiration works from the museum’s collection. The exhibition opens October 22, 2020 and will be on view through February 14, 2021.

“Banisadr’s depictions of abstracted masses feel especially relevant right now,” says Patricia Hickson, Emily Hall Tremaine Curator of Contemporary Art at the Wadsworth. “His compositions echo the disquiet we are witnessing across the world today, including political rallies and protest marches. And yet, as timely as they are, they are equally timeless." 

Banisadr’s process has been related to synesthesia as sounds instruct the energy and rhythm in his painterly compositions. His perception of sound as inextricably linked to color and form began in his native Tehran, Iran during the Iran-Iraq War (1980–1988)—the artist recalls drawing while sheltering at home. Living since in Turkey, California, and currently in New York, Banisadr’s life experiences have fueled his interest in different cultures.

Using both monochromatic and multicolor palettes, Banisadr heightens the drama of veiled masses in motion. While figures in the works are not quite human, individuals are differentiated by pattern and style. Like an all-seeing eye, Banisadr observes and considers societies past, present, and future, positioning his work as a critique on the human condition. His lively compositions explore intangible worlds that balance figuration and abstraction, order and disorder, energy and entropy.

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