Saturday, July 03, 2004

Tanavoli: Statues of "Nil" Contradict Western Understanding

Mehr News Agency English: "Statues of "Nil" Contradict Western Understanding: Iranian Sculptor
TEHRAN July 3 (MNA) -– The twist word of "nil" is derived from socio-political issues that Parviz Tanavoli, the Iranian sculptor, has applied in his works associated with mystery.
Tanavoli feels that his statues of "nil" are symbols and signs of life in the Iranian mysticism and do not bear any relationship with despair and hopelessness.

The 67-year-old Tanavoli, creating works entitled: "nil" which from the viewpoint of form, concept and style are purely Iranian, started his profession in early 1970's.

He said the concept of "nil" among the Westerners means absurdity and hopelessness, but contrary to this meaning, "nil" in my works does not convey the meaning of absurdity as it has substance and existence.

Tanavoli said, “Whatever has given rise to Western critics to pay due attention to these statues is the contradiction to "nil" in my works with its Western concepts. Because the "nil" statues have body, head, eye and curves, they therefore convey the concept of existence. According to this sculptor, the inner meaning of "nil" cannot be expressed as it derives from the secret of complexity of the art.

In 1960's, Tanavoli along with a number of his fellow artists, laid the foundations of "The School of Public Drinking Place."

He said though this school stems from the native and religious beliefs of the people, "nil" statues have turned into a global ideology.

Tanavoli has numerous "nil" works in his record, the biggest one is a stainless steel statue installed in front of a U.S. university in 1971.
Referring to the close affinity between poetry and sculpture, he said, “The visual arts including sculpture are a sort of poetry in which the sculptors use wood, paper, stone, bronze and other materials instead of words.

Poetry and sculpture are not separated from each other. Both of them are spirited, statue is spirit to the materials and poetry to the words.

Tanavoli, who has studied fine arts and sculpture in Iran and Italy, is active in other arts including, painting, ceramics and carpet. His most outstanding sculpture works, particularly in bronze are very prominent.

The works of this artist are currently installed in front of City Theater, Laleh Park, City Park, in museums and open areas in countries like South Korea, U.S., Austria and Germany."

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