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  • Homage to Hafiz By Gunther Uecker

    A Selection of printed works
    6 May- 16 September  2016

  • An exhibition of printed works, by one of the most established and known Modern German artist, Gunter Uecker was presented on the eve of Friday, May 6, 2016 at Lajevardi Foundation.
    Parallel with the presence of the artist himself, In this private opening ,Ustes Kemper, the Cultural Counselor of the German Embassy, Majid Molanowrouzi, the Chief Director of Visual Art organization , Ehsan Aghaei, the Deputy President of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Arts, Sadegh Kharrazi, Afshin Derambakhsh and Tiel Berkner, the Directors of Berkner Gallery in Germany, the Honorable Ambassador of Netherlands , Rakek Sadovsky, the Cultural Counselor and Deputy of the Polish Embassy, parallel with a group of the German art collectors,owners of galleries and some of the most recognized individuals in the Iranian art scene and culture such as Loris Cheknavarian and many other personalities were invited to this grand opening .

    In this ceremony,a book, titled as “A Homage to Hafiz” comprising the works of Uecker which were inspired by Hafiz sonnets, was previewed for the first time as well.
    “A Homage to Hafiz “was published by the Contemporary Art Publications, which is in association with Lajevardi Foundation.
    Gunther Uecker was born in 1930,in Eastern Berlin with a rural background. His early teen years coincided with World War II and his close experience of war, and the brutal violence and desolation caused by it, affected him very deeply and permanently. His political inclinations led him to Western Berlin, where, alongside with Otto Piene and Heinz Mack, he was a member of Zero Group from the outset of 1960s
    Uecker, alongside Zero group, which was a leading German group initiated after World War II, paved the way for Art to move from traditional painting to a modern and Avante Garde approch in which, new materials, media and techniques were used.Currently, Uecker is one of the most famous and leading German contemporary artists and was selected as the most prominent German artist in 2014.

    The formation of Uecker’s work is highly influenced by his life experience; that is why Life and Art are uniquely intermingled in his works. Concepts derived from mystical ideologies of different nations and religions along with the elements which he uses in his works, comprising farming devices, torture instrument, nail, hammer, wood, axe, soil, stone, words and etc, had created a set of signs and elements which, together are representatives of the inner world of artist; the world, by decoding of which, one might be able to grasp the notion and the spirit of the era parallel. One of the main features and characteristics of his works are the political and social issues, which are indicated in his art works.
    By using some primarily and ordinary tools and instruments, such as wood, nail, stone, ash and sand which their effects may seem plain by the first appearance, Uecker creates a system, the meaning of which surpasses all there is, beyond the simplicity that first appears in those instruments; works of art that has their own unique visual language, which could be regarded as a reflection toward the wounded sprite and weary soul of human beings, all the demolishing acts toward nature and ever increasing violence imposed not only to the nature, yet human beings parallel.
    Although Uecker’s works may seem simple and plain by the first glance, they contain such an intellectual depth and inner complexities. His incredible passion and eagerness toward culture, passion that led him to various journeys all around the world, journeys which shaped the core and essence of his artistic vision and creations.
    This is his second exhibition in Iran. The first exhibition was previously held in in the Contemporary Museum of Arts in September 2012, titled as “Wounds and Grafts “. which attracted numerous enthusiast viewers and audiences.
    This time, the 86-years-old German artist, inspired by 30 sonnets of Hafiz, created a collection titled “Homage to Hafiz”, which consists of 42 pieces. The idea of this collection initiated from his previous trip to Iran, and led to the implementation of this project.
    This collection was unveiled on May 1, 2016 in Hafezieh, Shiraz – Hafiz’ resting place. Parallel with this exhibition a book with the same title containing Uecker’s works, has been published by Contemporary Art Publication, which is in association with Lajevardi Foundation.
    As Ehsan Aghai the Deputy of Contemporary Museum of Art explains about creation and all the related process of this exhibition:
    “Afshin Derambakhsh ( The chief Director of Bertner Gallery in Germany) suggested this mutual project between two cultures, therefore, I picked 30 sonnets of Hafiz  and sent them to Mr.Uecker, so he would be able to undertake this project.  For two years, he put aside all his other projects, just to create works inspired by Hafiz sonnets, and this act was so admirable.
    Among all the foreign artists, Uecker is the first, whom after visiting Iran, was directly inspired by Hafiz,
    The concept of sonnet reachs its ultimate form and beauty because of this remarkable sonnets of Hafiz.
    Where mysticism and poetry intermingle to the extent as if there is no boundary among them. Hafiz is the poet of passion, love, freedom and suffrage of separation. The spirit of Hafiz’ poems are as great as the universe we live in, and maybe this is why, any one regardless of their roots and backgrounds would never feel like a stranger while referring to Hafiz and can regain themselves in the mirror of Hafiz poetry.
    All these features became a motivation for Uecker to create such a magnificent collection, inspired by Hafiz inner world and genuine poetry. As the artist quotes “the Eastern wind carrying this scent passing by, the odor of Eden in the meadow of separation, inspired me to adorn, ornament and garnish Hafiz’ poems, and to coronate him with an embellished crown”