Press Release

Shirin Gallery NY is pleased to announce the opening of Tumult of Lovers by Hossein Irandoust, opening Thursday, June 5th and running to June 21st. Congruent with the gallery’s focus on unexplored perspectives within modern and contemporary artistic movements from Iran and surrounding regions, the exhibition is Irandoust’s first solo exhibition in New York. Thursday’s opening will run from 6pm to 9pm at Shirin Gallery NY, 511 W. 25th suite 507.

“Tumult of Lovers” explores the essence of the mystical dimension of Islam and Sufism practice that is depicting spiritual expressions using a minimal colors. Sufism is a Muslim movement whose followers seek to find divine truth and love through direct encounters with God. Sufism arose from within Islam in the 8th-9th centuries C.E. as an ascetic movement. The movement may have been given (or taken on) the name Sufism because of the course wool garments they wore as a mark of their rejection of worldly things. One of the most important doctrines of Sufism is the ‘Perfect Man’ — a man who is the absolute channel that embraces the divine presence by surrendering himself — and denying his ego in the face of religion.

Irandoust has captured in his paintings the whirling, gathering and intense meditation of a Sufi, thus transforming into a broken presence in a higher state of trance, and stripped of all worldly desires. His paintings hold a minimalistic indication that is influenced by his grandfather’s Chinese culture, in parallel to a simplistic whisper of mystical philosophy that was embraced by renowned Persian poets and philosophers. The minimal use of colors combined with the vivid expressions and fluid motions of the whirling dervishes give us a glimpse of two ancient cultures . Through the dispersion of clutter and the implicit purity, neutrality and innocence of predominantly white color with lesser amounts of black or other dark colors, the influence of ancient Chinese philosophy exemplified in the concept of Yin and Yang is apparent in the artist’s work. In ancient Iranian Zoroastrian culture the same interplay of black and white, good and evil, light and darkness played a central role and has metaphorically used in poetry for over a thousand years.

Hossein Irandoust was born in Tehran, Iran in November of 1978, on the eve of the Revolution. He was born to an Iranian mother and a half Chinese, half Iranian father. Irandoust started painting at a young age and he trained under the supervision of Rahim Navasi (also spelled Navehsi) one of Iran’s best known realist painters. Hossein went on to graduate from Azad University with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts.