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HABIB KHERADYAR

January 18 - February 15, 2003 at Miller Durazo, West Los Angeles

by Kathy Zimmerer




“Untitled (orange/black),” 2002, fabric
and armatures on canvas,
88 x 132” (diptych).






“Untitled (pink/violet),” 2001, fabric
and armatures on canvas,
88 x 132” (diptych).





“Untitled (blue),” 2000, fabric
and armatures on canvas,
88 x 132” (diptych).

Habib Kheradyar’s new luminous fabric and armature paintings are drenched with color, and have evolved from earlier work as he has immersed himself in optical effects. The wire armatures give depth to the composition and bend the optical lines for a dazzling array of visual effects. Always involved with abstraction, Kheradyar’s early encaustic paintings evolved into elegant patterned paintings, which in turn became dimensional and more complicated in terms of line and color. He distills his strong background in Iranian art and poetry, evoking the translucent veils from his native country and the jewel-like colors of exquisite Persian miniatures. The endless variety of patterns and shapes also echoes the decorative aspects of Persian art and architecture, yet the flow of imagery is contemporary and fluid.
One of his more striking diptychs, Untitled (pink/violet), is a beautifully unified composition that appears like a large scale puzzle of forms and colors fitting snugly together. The undulating convex and concave lines in the fabric resemble silk moiré. Yet as the brilliant pink patterns intersect with the violet in the painting, there is a clash of warm and cool that cause the lines and hues to vibrate with intensity.

Another noteworthy work, Untitled (blue), is a whirling cataclysm of silvery lines that intersect and then separate to form another visual capsule. Akin to the Op Art of the seventies, including Bridget Riley’s and Victor Vasarely’s vividly colored optic and geometric masterpieces, Kheradyar’s work is enhanced by a sculptural dimension and a more organic orientation.


The tension of warm versus cool colors works well in Untitled (orange/black), where a vibrant Popsicle orange is laid side by side with a whirling mass of dark charcoal gray. Kheradyar adds a solid line of black at the bottom of the painting to unite the two disparate sides. While flowing through various transformations, the linear presence in the painting is refined and elegant.

Untitled (violet) combines his earlier patterned paintings with his current optical effects. The repeated dots glow on the surface, while the complicated moiré pattern emerges from below the surface, giving depth and interest to the painting.

Kheradyar’s play on the viewer’s perceptions is subtle yet profound. While the lines in his paintings may lead to one place, they then contort and flip around, switching directions. The colors change from light to dark and from warm to cool, adding further richness on the optic scale. While building on modern Op Art and his Persian ancestry, his paintings have an organic continuity and a shimmering beauty that expands contemporary abstraction.