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A Note on an Artwork by Kamran Katouzian

Author : Shamim Sabzevari

Reading Time : 3 Minutes

Reviews on TMoCA's permanent collection

This series of notes have been written to introduce the works of Iranian artists, located in the permanent collection of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.


Kamran Katouzian (b. 1941) is one of the leading representatives of the abstract art stream in Iran. He spent his final years of school in the U.S. and continued his studies in painting at Windham School of Fine Arts. While studying and living in New York, he was intrigued by the abstract expressionism movement and the works of Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Mark Tobey. But his favorite artist was Franz Kline. Kline's influence is clearly visible in various periods of Katouzian's career. Katouzian was also active in the graphics and advertising fields. Perhaps his works could be considered as prototypes of graphic design in Iran, in which a different atmosphere was created based on the aesthetics of painting.

Kamran Katouzian | Untitled


In this work, a black and entangled wide strip, which clearly shows Kline's influence, is imprinted on a nearly empty canvas. The whole creation process of this work has been done in one move and with some improvisation in a short period of time, but such an approach requires reflection, meditation, and deep focus. Katouzian has painted the black color powerfully and exhilaratingly on canvas, with a wide brush. The brush has passed through some parts several times, and in some parts that have more curvature and twist, a little color is left on the canvas. This type of using the capacities of the brush and the black color on white background, emphasis on sterile painting, and also the artist's behavioral action during the creation of the artwork evokes Chinese monochrome painting or calligraphy, which abstract expressionist artists also paid attention to. However, instead of text or word, there's only a large speck on the canvas in this work.

"Untitled"  by   Kamran Katouzian belongs to the TMoCA's permanent collection.