Exhausted Sleep

June 7 - 24 2024

Mohammad Ali Baniasadi

Press Release

O Gallery, in its first collaboration with Mohammad Ali Baniasadi (b. 1955 Semnan), presents "Exhausted Sleep”, an exhibition of recent works by the artist.

The first thing that catches the viewer's attention in this collection of acrylic on canvas paintings is the use of bold colors and strong color contrasts.  The dominant element in these works is the human figures in sleep, whose density and relatively odd compositions are notable features of this collection. Additionally, the figures are placed in unconventional and unsuitable backgrounds for sleeping. The artist has consciously depicted his characters in such a way that, despite the detailed portrayal of faces and bodies, their identities are not very clear; if they are, it is not a common or familiar identity. It is an identity that is neither racial, gender specific, nor social, but rather a human identity. In some works, the background is depicted like a bed full of colors with abstract patterns or inspirations from art history, ranging from Cézanne to Holbein. This makes it impossible to specifically determine their location’s identity.
This sleep, this extreme and pervasive exhaustion in the paintings, is the central idea of Baniasadi's current collection. The artist himself says:

"I was hesitant to choose the name “Sleeps” for the exhibition. All my intention in painting on such a subject was to create compositions that I had rarely worked on and it was an opportunity for me to explore new experiences that I had in mind. However, choosing the title, “Sleeps” seemed insufficient to me and I inevitably chose the title “Exhausted Sleep” because this term was in the description of the first photo I selected for painting and it accurately conveyed my “intention”."

The artist's emphasis is on sleep, whether this sleep signifies a lack of attention and is criticized, or this closing of eyes is the only choice of this era and is praised.