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Mural painting by Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo

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Note: specific times of painting TBA. See October 25 for information on lecture by Mehdi Ghadyanloo.

After studying painting and animation in Tehran, Iranian artist Mehdi Ghadyanloo (b. 1981) answered an open call from the Municipality of Tehran's Beautification Bureau to promote public art in the capital city. Between 2004 and 2011, he went on to paint over 100 gigantic murals throughout Tehran, depicting scenes of people and places in amusing compositions and illusionistic settings evocative of happy and at times surreal conditions.

This month, he comes to Ann Arbor to paint a mural at the Institute for the Humanities, in the lobby of the Thayer Building.

Ghadyanloo has became one of Iran's most famous public artists. More recently, his practice has developed from murals to encompass works on canvas, a wide range of printmaking techniques, and sculpture. His newest compositions reveal a darker side to his practice, in which landscapes painted in a somber, muted palette are inhabited by floating machine-like and geometric forms that cast a menacing shadow on the individuals depicted below. Through such depictions, he encapsulates a foreboding and uneasy sense of suspension for those living in Iran today. From his murals to his canvas paintings, Ghadyanloo thus lures us into heterotopic spaces that invite us to imagine new realities that are both hopeful and dire.

Additional sponsorship for this event provided by the Charles L. Freer Research and Publications Fund, History of Art; Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies (CMENAS); and the International Institute.

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