Alireza Varzandeh

WORKS //  INFO //  BIOGRAPHY //  EXHIBITIONS  //  COLLECTIONS

WORKS

ARTIST INFO

Alireza Varzandeh

Moving Standstill | by Stephanie Hentschel

 

As if through a mirror, Cologne-based artist Alireza Varzandeh holds everyday life, social structures and habits before our eyes.
From exuberant beach scenes to urban construction workers, passersby and cyclists in city traffic, strollers in the park, both rain and shine, to colorful floral still lifes – no subject seems unworthy of a picture or uninteresting in terms of composition for the artist, who was born in Persia in 1963.

Alireza Varzandeh pulls, as if through a zoom, selected scenes of the contemporary pulsating and fast-paced life very close and brings them to a standstill for a short time. Through the wide-ranging color palette, the purposefully placed shades, reflections and light accents, the viewer is spontaneously and abruptly drawn directly into the pictorial event and into the spell of the works.

As if focusing the lens of a photo camera, the pictorial motifs are first sketched abstractly on the canvas, then applied in detail in oil, only to be painted again into an abstracted, more objective view.

Even during this working process, the artist himself seems to go through the individual steps that the viewer also experiences when standing in front of the completed work – the alternation between close-up and distant views, as well as the simultaneous recognition and blurring of the subject of the picture. The result is a seemingly abstract and literally vibrating surface structure that virtually forces the viewer to maintain a certain distance in order to be able to grasp the pictorial motif in its completeness. Only with some distance to the canvas the expressive seeming play of light and color can be put together to a big whole before our eye. The paintings themselves do not provide a concrete perspective, but rather the artist seems to use the movement of the viewer in front of the canvas in a targeted manner, in order to simultaneously increase the dynamics of the pictorial events through the viewer’s constant change of perspective.

Due to the painterly abstraction, caused by the expressive painting of the picture’s surface, any individual facial features of the picture’s subject become blurred. Human figures are created which, due to their lack of characteristics, allow each viewer to identify with the sitter and thus maintain the connection between the picture and the viewer.

Inspired by the use of light in Rembrandt’s painting and that of the Impressionists, Alireza Varzandeh transfers these historical approaches to the color and light effects of our time. With rapid gestural brushwork in the form of consistent painting of the previously almost photo-realistically elaborated picture base, movement and dynamics of the respective pictorial events are transported onto the canvas in an abstract-expressive manner. Figurative forms are dissolved into free light and color surfaces, facial expressions and gestures of the depicted persons are transformed into fields of tension and dynamic action sequences, which transmit the experienced moods to the viewer and set the previously captured, temporary standstill in motion again.

From this, at first seemingly destructive way of working, which dissolves the apparent perfection of what is depicted back into free forms, painting is created, which in itself, without any interpretation of the pictorial motifs, represents the current zeitgeist and its fast-moving social structures, and at the same time is able to fascinate the human eye through its tremendous play of colors and forms.

The artist’s claim does not seem to lie in wanting to translate what he sees as a snapshot true to nature into painting, thus competing with photography or even with nature itself. His goal lies in capturing the dynamic structures and sequences of movement, capturing them on canvas, and thus transcending the limit of painting – the reputed lack of ability to report on an ongoing event or to capture a movement itself.

For the viewer it is hardly possible to perceive only this one moment, the standstill in a movement of the event. Quite unconsciously, he associates a before and after through his own horizon of experience, arranges what he sees into a context, and thus contributes to the emergence of a narrative structure within the picture. In this way, the viewer himself is also assigned an important position in the development of the pictorial concept.
The artist quite deliberately implies the participation of the viewer and thus, on the level of content, once again brings about an interrelationship between the pictorial and the viewer’s space. On the one hand, the motifs taken from everyday life allow almost every viewer to identify with them, and on the other hand, the contextual understanding of the viewer creates a narrative level, so that the complete message of the picture only comes to light with his intervention.

This closeness that the artist creates between the viewer and the work of art is, however, interrupted again by the spatial distance that the viewer must gain from the picture in order to be able to follow the pictorial motif at all.

Thus, there is a constant alternation between closeness and distance, movement and standstill, both with regard to the means of design that Alireza Varzandeh uses in his painting and with regard to the content of the statement. And in every respect, the viewer seems to be envisaged as an essential participant, thus stepping out of the role of the solely passive observer.

BIOGRAPHY

1963
born in Shiraz, Persia

1980
High school diploma
additional education: Persian ceramics for exterior and interior spaces

since 1979
Several exhibitions in Persia, last at the Museum of Modern Art in Tehran (Iran)

1981 – 1985
Design studies at the University of Tehran, focus on illustration

1985
Entry into the Federal Republic of Germany

1987
Beginning of studies of free graphics and free painting at the University of Applied Sciences for Art and Design, Cologne with Prof. Lewandowski and Prof. Karl Marx

1992
Completion of studies as a master student of Prof. Marx, subject area Malarei

1995 – 1998
Residence and studio in New York

2018

Opening of the second studio in Spain

 

Currently lives and works in Valencia

EXHIBITIONS

SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2020s

2022
Gallery Cyprian Brenner, Schwäbisch Hall
art Karlsruhe, one artist show, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Volta Basel, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
IN BLOOM, Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt
Volta New York, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2021
Art Karlsruhe, one artist show, Barbara von Stechow Gallery
Day by Day: Alireza Varzandeh, Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt

2020
Art Karlsruhe, One artist show, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Gallery Cyprian Brenner, Schwäbisch Hall

2010s

2019
Gallery Kunstblick, Balingen
Art Karlsruhe, one artist show, Barbara von Stechow Gallery
Caldwellsnyder Gallery, San Francisco
Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt

2018
Art Karlsruhe, one artist show, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Art Obssesion, Bergen, Netherlands
Kunsthaus Fischer, Stuttgart
Baumgartl Gallery, Munich

2017
Art Karlsruhe, one artist show, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Art Karlsruhe, one artist show, Gallery Kampl
Gallery Kampl, Munich
Gallery Beate Berndt, Augsburg
Ca`n Castel, Mallorca
Kampl Gallery, Munich

2016
Solo Show, Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Gallery Kunstblick, Balingen
Art House Fischer, Stuttgart
Barbara von Stechow Gallery, Frankfurt

2015
Kniphausen Castle, Wilhelmshaven
Art Karlsruhe, solo show, Barbara von Stechow Gallery (catalog)

2014
Solo show, Art Karlsruhe, project space Knut Osper (catalog)
Cultural center Bad Homburg
Gallery Kampl, Munich

2013
Solo show, Art Karlsruhe, project space Knut Osper (catalog)
Project Space Knut Osper (catalog)

2012
Solo show, Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Kampl (catalog)
Gallery Michael Nolte Münster

2011
Project space Knut Osper (catalog)

2010
Gallery Dagmar Schmidla Cologne
Gallery Kampl Munich
Gallery Dagmar Schmidla Cologne

2000s

2008
Gallery Joy of Peace Cologne (Catalog)

2007
Gallery Josef Nisters, Speyer (catalog)

2004
Gallery Josef Nisters, Speyer

2003
Gallery Josef Nisters, Speyer

2001
Gallery Peter Tedden (catalog)
Baker & Mc Kenzie Berlin, curator: Gallery Timm Gierig (catalog)

2000
Baker & Mc Kenzie Frankfurt, curator: Gallery Timm Gierig (catalog)

1990s

1999
Gallery Incontro Eitorf

1996
Basement Gallery Siegburg
Gallery Seidel Cologne

1993
City Museum Siegburg (catalog)

1980er

1989
Brandt Gallery Cologne

1987
Bridge Gate Gallery Traben-Trarbach

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2022
“IN BLOOM”, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2021
Art Karlsruhe, Kunsthaus Fischer
Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Cyprian Brenner
Calswell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco
AAF Amsterdam, Okker Art Gallery
Art Brenda, Okker Art Gallery
Baumgartl Gallery, Munich
Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Santa Barbara, California
Art Miami, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2020
Art Karlsruhe, Kunsthaus Fischer
Calswell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco
AAF Amsterdam, Okker Art Gallery
Okker Art Gallery, Domburg
Baumgartl Gallery, Munich
Caldwell Snyder Gallery, Santa Barbara, Calif.

2019
LA Art Show, Caldwellsnyder Gallery
Art Palm Springs, Caldwellsnyder Gallery
Art Karlsruhe, Fischer Art House
Art Karlsruhe, Fine Art Brennecke
Baumgartl Gallery, Munich
Fine Art Brennecke Gallery
Berlin Art Breda, Art Obssesion, Netherlands
Art Miami, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Okker Art Gallery, Amsterdam

2018
Art Karlsruhe
Kunsthaus Fischer Art Fair Baarn
Art Obssesion, Netherlands
Baumgartel Gallery, Munich
Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco
Kunsthaus Fischer, Stuttgart
Art Miami, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2017
Art Karlsruhe
Kunsthaus Fischer Stuttgart
Art Obssesion, Bergen, Netherlands
Art Zurich, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Art Miami, Gallery Barbara von Stechow
Reitz Gallery, Cologne
Caldwell Snyder Gallery, San Francisco, USA

2016
Art Karlsruhe
Gallery Kampl Art Essences XIII
Friedmann-Hahn Gallery, Berlin
Art New York 2016, Barbara von Stechow Gallery
Art Zurich 16, Barbara von Stechow Gallery
Strasbourg Art 16, Stefano Forni Gallery

2015
Art Karlsruhe, Barbara von Stechow Gallery and Kampl Gallery
Art 15 Zurich, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2014
Art Karlsruhe, Barbara von Stechow Gallery and Kampl Gallery
Barbara von Stechow Gallery
Art 14 Zurich, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2013
Project Space Knut Osper
Art & Antique, Gallery Barbara von Stechow, Wiesbaden
Art Fair Cologne, Project Space Knut Osper (Catalog)
Art 13 Zurich, Barbara von Stechow Gallery

2012
Gallery Michael Nolte, open haus 2012, Münster
Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Kampl (catalog)
Gallery Simon Nolte, ” Art in the air”, Mallorca, Spain
Project space Knut Osper, “Accrochage”, Cologne, Germany
Gallery Simon Nolte, “Summertime”, Mallorca, Spain
Gallery Michael Nolte, “artists night”, Münster, Germany
Art Fair Cologne, project space Knut Osper (catalog)
Art 12 Zurich, Gallery Barbara von Stechow

2011
Gallery Noah, Augsburg
Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Kampl
Project Space Knut Osper, Cologne
Gallery Kampl, Munich
Transformations, Munich
Art Fair Cologne, Project Space Knut Osper

2010
Gallery Paradiso, Island Rab, Koatien
Gallery Kampl, Munich
Erlengut, Erlenbach/ Switzerland
Art fair Cologne, Gallery Kampl
Gallery Makek, Zagreb, Koatien (catalog)

2009
Gallery Noah, Augsburg

2008
Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Josef Nisters

2007
Gallery Josef Nisters, 50 + 1

2006
Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Josef Nisters

2005
Art Karlsruhe, Gallery Josef Nisters

2004
Gallery Josef Nisters, works on paper, Speyer

2003
Art Frankfurt, Gallery Peter Tedden
Art Cologne 2003, Gallery Peter Tedden, Exhibition Cologne
Gallery Josef Nisters, Speyer

2002
Art Association Oberhausen

2001
Art Cologne 2001, Gallery Peter Tedden, Cologne Fair
Gallery Incontro, Eitorf
Art Fair Amsterdam, Gallery Peter Tedden
Gallery Benninger, Cologne

2000
Art Cologne 2000, International Art Fair Cologne, Gallery Incontro
Bauconsult Cologne, curator: Gallery Timm Gierig, Cologne, (catalog)

1999
Young Art at Baker & Mc Kenzie Frankfurt, curator: Gallery Timm Gierig
Gallery Incontro Eitorf

1996
Special show Interstoff (intervoice) Fair Frankfurt
Gallery Seidel Cologne

1995
Great art exhibition NRW, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (catalog)
Cologne art 4, Josef- Haubrich- Kunsthalle Cologne (catalog)
“Young art of New York” Gallery 68 elf Cologne

1993
“the end” Galleries Barthel and Tetzner and 68elf Cologne (catalog)
Great art exhibition NRW, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (catalog)

1992
Köln Kunst 3, Josef- Haubrich- Kunsthalle Cologne (catalog)
Unorte II, Gallery 68elf Cologne, Bonn, Berlin
Great art exhibition NRW, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (catalog)

1991
Great art exhibition NRW, Kunstpalast Düsseldorf (catalog)

COLLECTIONS

Baker & McKenzie
Neven DuMont
Becker