Mehdi Ghadyanloo's Solo Exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, New York

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Mehdi Ghadyanloo's Solo Exhibition at Gagosian Gallery, New York

Author : Marjan Akhavan

Reading Time : 2 Minutes

"Between the two possible choices in this world: painting the suffering or painting for sustaining the suffering, I have so far chosen the second one. In this regard,  I have been honored to develop a shared language   with those who could  not be talked to through words and texts." 

Mehdi Ghadyanloo  


Mehdi Ghadyanloo | Installation view | Gagosian Gallery | Source:


Mehdi Ghadyanloo's new collection was hosted by Gagosian Gallery in New York from March 17 to  April 23, 2022. Named after the artist's name,  this exhibition presents fully imaginary structures of the playgrounds confined between the walls depicted in acrylic and oil. The skillful use of the chiaroscuro technique and the glowing of lights from the skylights have made the objects clearer and more reflective in the paintings. The confusing complicated pictures of Ghadyanloo indicate his interest in 3D-like structures, the use of lighting, and surreal concepts.

Mehdi Ghadyanloo is an Iranian painter and sculptor skilled in different techniques of printing who is best known for the surreal impressions in his work applied to illustrate the mutual global ideas like fear, hope, and loss.

By representing minimal imaginary environments, surreal structures and arrangements, and the repetitive use of symbolic elements like stairs, balloons, slides, and airplanes, the artist invites us to reflect on our shared cosmopolitan existence. Prior to immigrating to Tehran and studying painting at the University of Tehran, Ghadyanloo was working as an agriculturist in Karaj. After graduating in 2004, he participated in a call for painting by Tehran's Municipality with 10 preliminary sketches and was accepted for all the sketches to be painted on the city's walls. Implementing more than 100 huge murals depicting humans in cheerful, entertaining, and dreamy compositions,  Ghadyanloo soon became one of the most prominent artists in Iranian "Public Art".  Between 2004 and 2011, he made more than 100 gigantic murals based on the trompe l'oeil technique on the walls of Tehran, and in 2016 painted the "Spaces of Hope" mural in Boston that made him the first artist since the 1979 Revolution in Iran who has received official orders for painting both in his country and in the US. 



Mehdi Ghadyanloo | Installation view | Gagosian Gallery | Source:


Mehdi Ghadyanloo | A Love Song | acrylic and oil on canvas | 235 × 120 cm


New works based on the playgrounds are exhibited in this show by Ghadyanloo.  Encountering the playgrounds as an artist who experiences many international trips with his child due to his profession, motivated him to present subjects such as transcending the language and cultural differences as well.

The fanciful playgrounds in Ghadyanloo's paintings are at the same time provocative of his childhood memories and joyful plays amidst the Iraq war against Iran and also a manifestation of the utopia he creates in his works.  The significance of his paintings lies in the unfinished and inaccessible objects.  Behind the structures, which seem lively and exciting at first glance,  the dead-end precipices and omitted ladders are astutely referring to the memories and mental injuries of war and immigration. Dream-like mysterious spaces void of humans in Ghadyanloo's paintings are reminiscent of the empty battlefields of Giorgio de Chirico, the paradoxical scenarios of René Magritte, and the impossible places of Maurice Escher. The complicated geometry of his compositions is inspired by the rich traditions of Iranian painting, architecture, literature, and decorative arts.

Gagosian Gallery, owned and directed by Larry Gagosian, was established in 1980 in Los Angeles. The gallery has hosted multiple exhibitions by the most influential artists of the 20th and 21st centuries with 16 gallery spaces: five in New York, three in London, two in Paris, and some others in Basel, Beverley Hills, Rome, Athens, Geneva, and Hong Kong. Known for supporting his artists to pursue their goals, Larry Gagosian has expanded the careers of many contemporary acclaimed artists.  Focusing on the presentation of modern and contemporary arts, he has so far exhibited the works of great artists such as  John Currin, Urs Fischer, Andreas Gursky, Michael Heizer, Sally Mann, Richard Prince, Jeff Wall, Jonas Wood, and Takashi Murakami.