Open heart operation
The works of the Iranian artist Azadeh Razaghdoost skillfully establish a link between two seemingly opposing qualities that exist within the range of artistic expression: on the one hand, the art of cool-laconic accentuation and, on the other, that of expressive-sensual contamination. She uses fine pencil markings, somewhere between letters and musical notes, to structure the white canvas, reinforces them with colour or paints over them, and overlays them with seas of paint that soak into the canvas. All this gives rise to highly charged pictures, which stimulate the observer intellectually as well as intuitively.
Azadeh Razaghdoost’s work responds to emotional stimuli, be they from literature or everyday life. Only a seething issue will hold her attention for any length of time. When translating this into a piece of art she works on the inspirational moment for as long as it takes for no more space to exist between her and the thought or word and this rapprochement to be completed and formulated as a painting.
The artist regards the blankness of the canvas as an„annoying white“ space that has to disappear through the artistic process. She uses the pencil as if it were a weapon and maltreats the canvas to such an extent that in places holes appear. The fragments of text that emerge as a result may be legible, but they do not have to be. Most are written in Farsi, but more recently some have been in Latin, a feature which has led to the accusation in her country that she is not patriotic enough. The colours that come next are applied by hand, whereby the artist subsequently removes a large part of these. This intense, seismographic discourse with artistic means accentuates the concentrated mood projected on to the canvas.
In her more recent works of the current series „Letters“ the artist has been working with an extended range of colour; her hitherto strong focus on shades of red has been widened to include accentuations in green and blue. This has produced new refinements: alongside literally bloody pictures we now find a fresh, attractive spectrum of soft tones taking effect.
Azadeh Razaghdoost compares her artistic work with her childhood wish to become a heart surgeon. Whether physician or artist, both operate on the open heart, be this an organ or metaphor. Both deal with physical matter – and battle with it repeatedly until the desired ideal is reached.
Julia Häcki, Zurich