Abol Painting

“For me color is everything. Color comes before shape and form. It creates the space, dimension, and—most importantly—the feelings”

Background

My mom told me that I started scribbling before I started talking. I believe that is why painting is the most primary method of expression for me. I was born in Tabriz, the capital city of Iranian Azerbaijan. Tabriz is the city of carpets and miniatures. As a child, I was inspired by colorful abstract motifs on rugs. I started painting at a very early age and won the “Best Young Artist” prize at age nine among the local schools. I studied art in my hometown and later in Manchester, England.

I have worked in various creative fields throughout my career. As a fabric designer, graphic designer, art director, and currently creative consultant, I’ve solely relied on fine arts and my continuous painting process as a source of inspiration. As well as a foundation for my professional life, painting is also my livelihood.

I consider myself more of a colorist. For me, color is everything. Color comes before shape and form. It creates space, dimension, and—most importantly—feelings.

Artist Statement and Process

For me making art is an attempt to expand or alter the vision and pass that on to the viewer to interpret.

Painting helps me realize those things that are not known to me on a conscious level. My artistic process is a spiritual journey that exists outside of the limited realm of self and intellect. I consider painting a medium or tool to manifest my belief that what is undiscovered or forgotten connects to willpower within us to appear. My art comes from my subconscious, and, hopefully, viewers of my paintings will discover what is in their subconscious, forgotten or never born in memory. Additionally, the incomprehensible notion of space and time being the same entity (spacetime in mathematical/scientific terms) has become the source of some of my paintings.

I rely on a level of uncertainty—a process of pouring, spraying, wet-on-wet painting, and other spontaneous techniques. But I don’t rely on accidents. I rapidly manipulate the results while the surface is wet by adding and deleting details. As soon as the work surprises me with what is new and yet familiar—I stop. The familiarity is not because I recognize one or two objects.

On the contrary, the freshly born painting is entirely new to me, but it gives me a feeling that I somehow recognize this newborn appearance—a feeling of lost and found. I stop working on a painting when I experience a sense of déjà vu. I may stare at it for many days after and then edit it to enhance the initial feeling while keeping it fresh.

Listening to what others see in my paintings, I am continually surprised by our shared collective memory.

Recent Awards and Recognitions

2020—Selected for 2021 Solo Show by The Art League, Alexandria, VA

October 2020—Awarded with Honorable Mention by Raymond Padron, the juror of the Art League’s October 2020 Open Exhibit for "Bosons"

April 2020—Selected by Washington Project for the Arts (WPA) for its prestigious Annual Auction Gala

December 2019—The Art League Best in Show Award, The Art League, Alexandria, VA > READ INTERVIEW >

June 2018—Anne Banks Award for Best in Show by The Art League, Alexandria, VA > READ INTERVIEW >

April 2018—Equal Merit Award by The Art League, Alexandria, VA

April 2018—Selected by WPA for its Annual Auction Gala

March 2015—Evelyn Turner Best of the Show Award for Abstraction by The Art League in 2015 > READ INTERVIEW >

January 2011—Selected by Karabakh Foundation for a solo show at the PEPCO Edison Gallery, DC 2011

Exhibits

I have actively shown my work in the UK, Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. My first major solo show was in PEPCO Edison Place Gallery in DC with more than 85 paintings on display (2011), later in Aron Gallery, DC (2012) and DESI Gallery Arlington, VA (2013). My works are regularly selected and awarded by the Art League Gallery, Alexandria, VA, with a solo show in 2021. I have also routinely been juried in for Washington DC’s most anticipated art event; The Washington Project for Arts (WPA) Auction Gala.

Education and Training

Master’s in Digital Application Design for Textiles, The University of Manchester, UK, 1987

Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and Textiles, The University of Manchester, UK, 1984

Abstract Art, Courses by Beverly Ryan and other instructors, The Art League, Alexandria, VA 2009-present