Ali Akbar Sadeghi was born on 1937 a graduate of the College of Art, University of Tehran, is one of the most prolific and successful Iranian painters and artists.
As a child, Ali Akbar Sadeghi reminisces that he would be lost in the chants of narrators that gave account of Shahnameh stories; accounts of Siavash riding on horseback, still-armored Bijan, Rostam’s arrow hitting Ashkboos in the heart, Faramarz, elephant rider, and bravery of other heroes whose names remain in Persian literature and folklore forever. In general, the lyrical, heroic world of legends is an indispensable part of Ali Akbar Sadeghi’s worldview, a world whose figurative representations sometimes appear in old miniature paintings or more popular forms of art, including coffeehouse painting, reverse painting on glass, imprints on wood and paper, and stunning images in lithographed books.
In his evocative paintings, Ali Akbar Sadeghi draws on the rich traditions of Persian art but adds to them a surreal edge that involves dizzying spatial manipulations and startling combinations of real and fantastical objects, producing breath-taking kaleidoscopes of colour and form. A master story-teller, the varied Persian sources of Sadeghi's tales range from historical Persian iconography including swords, horses, gardens and warriors, intricate decorative motifs and patterns taken from classic rugs, to the compositions of archetypal Iranian miniatures and portraits, particularly those of the Qajar dynasty.
But Sadeghi's inspiration from the cultural heritage of Iran is not just aesthetic; the presence of Persian sagas and legends, epic poems and philosophies, and even the teachings of Gnosticism loom large in his work. While Sadeghi has undoubtedly been motivated by the varied artistic forms and schools of thought of his country, his productions have undeniable links to the automatic art of Max Ernst and De Chirico, among others. Considered by some to be Iran's Dali and by himself to be simply a narrator, Sadeghi's paintings give a 20υth/21υst Century edge to the typical Iranian story or image
Sadeghi has been artistically active in the past 60 years. His style is a kind of Iranian surrealism, based on Iranian forms and compositions of traditional paintings, the use of Iranian iconography, and the use of Persian cultural motifs, signs and myths, full of movement and action, in prominent and genuine oil colours, in large frames, very personal, reminiscent of epic traditional Persian paintings and illustrations, with a conspicuous mythical style.
He initiated a special style in Persian painting, influenced by Coffee House painting, iconography, and traditional Iranian portrait painting, following the Qajar tradition – a mixture of a kind of surrealism, influenced by the art of stained glass.
The spectacular style and flamboyant use of colour in paintings and sculptures of Ali Akbar Sadeghi behold the richness of iconography in Qajar Era paintings, particularly a school of painting that has become known as the Qahveh Khaneh (Coffee house paintings). The meticulous detailing, intricate scenes and the subject matter, often heroes in full armour, follow the traditions of Miniature painting. At close inspection a large number of artists’ works are in one way or another self-portraits. The story teller, the sleep walker, seems not to be able to invent without identifying with the characters of his imagination. Here is a marvellous world where the heroes of artist do not appear to be fighting the evils of the world, they are either frozen in time or seem to be engaged in their own internal conflict. From the “Hanged Coat” to the depiction of the old hero with an aid band on his face to the “Torture Armchair”, there is a strong sense of defeat but evil doesn’t seem to have prevailed. It appears as if the artist is content with wisdom that age and years of turmoil has brought him. The Emotional power of these self-portraits and their poetic reality overwhelms the viewer and invokes feelings of sympathy that derives from conflict within every human being. The surreal world of Ali Akbar Sadeghi is governed by the strength of dreams, a world of his own. He successfully transfers his emotions and turmoil’s but also creates scenes and objects that are complete and precise. A perfect balance. And when he is not busy pushing nails in to the faces of his heroes he is ready to play chess. The game of nobility that commands tact, maturity and dignity.
Centre for the Intellectual Development of Children and the Youth
He is among the first individuals involved in the Centre for the Intellectual Development of Children and the Youth, and was among the founders of the Film Animation department of this institute. In 1991, at the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, Sadeghi was honoured for his outstanding achievements in book illustration and film making, and his participation in more than 50 festivals of films and books.
Aside from illustration, he has published number of books for the Centre for the Development of Children and the Youth, and has made number seven films by using his special style in painting. Films produced by Sadeghi have won more than 20 awards at International Film Festivals. Also, for his book illustrations he has won four international awards.
In 1989 he founded Sabz Gallery, which was actively and continuously exhibiting the works of Iranian painters until 2003. In 2011 His permanent works space and atelier established that continuously showcases works belonging to different periods of Sadeghi's long professional life.
In total, he has participated in over 50 individual and group exhibitions and auctions, over 8 volumes of books and he has been a member of jury panels in over 10 international biennial exhibitions.
In 2009, Ali Akbar Sadeghi was recognized as an outstanding cultural figure and contributor to Iranian art and culture by the ministry of Culture in Iran.
1. Gold Medal from Tehran 7th International Festival of Films for Children and Young Adults (1972)
2. Honorable Mention from Tampere International Short Film Festival in Finland (1973)
3. The Soviet Painters Association Award (1974)
4. The Grand Prix of Lebanon Educational Films Festival (1974)
5. Bronze Medal from Columbus Film Festival (1975)
6. Bronze Medal from Columbus Film Festival for the idea of making the film (1975)
7. Honorable Mention from International Animation Film Festival in New York (1975)
8. Bronze Medal from International Animation Film Festival in New York (1975)
Boasting has won the following awards:
1. C.I.D.A.L.C (Gandhi Peace Prize at 24th International
2. Bronze Medal from C.I.D.A.L.C. Annual International Committee held in Paris (1974)
The Rook has won the following awards:
1. Honorary Diploma for the best short film from Tehran 9th International Festival of Films for Children and Young Adults (1974)
2. HonorayDiploma from Krakow 12th International Film Festival (1974)
3. Bronze Medal from Krakow 12th International Film Festival (1974)
4. Gold Medal from the Virgin Islands International Film Festival (1975) it is worthy to note that 38 countries participated in this festival and there were 2000 film entries.
5. Silver Medal from Chicago 11th International Film Festival (1975)
6. Honorable Mention from Los Angeles International festival of Children’s Films
7. Honorable Mention from the 4th International Animation Film F Festival in New York
-The Rook was selected as an outstanding film of the year for presentation at the London Film festival in 1975.
-Malek Khorshid won the following awards:
the Honorary Diploma from the Festival International de Court Metrage pour la Jeunesse (Paris, 1977)
The Books Sadeghi has illustrated are:
The Hero of Heroes (1970; also published in Japanese in Japan); Abdolrazzaq the Hero (1972); Gordafarid (1973); Contemplation is the Best Worship: Aphorisms of the Prophet Mohammad (1974); The Bronzesmiths (1974); The Rain,the Sun, and the Story of Tiles (1974); Be the Child of Your Times: Aphorisms of Imam Ali (1975); Let Us Play Chess (1975); The Prophet’s Mother (1976); The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor (1976); They Are Alive; The Life of Zeinab, Imam Ali’s Daughter (1977); Shine, Lady Sun! (1977); Let Us Live Together (1977); A Visit to the Province of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari (1977); Keep Your Spirit Ablaze: The Mystical Sayings of Khajeh Abdollah Ansari (1978); Victory (1985); the chapter entitled “Chaharshanbeh Suri: An Iranian Traditional Ceremony” in Asian Games (published in English in Japan); and the film posters of the Rook, Boasting, and Malek Khrorshid.
As a book illustrator, Sadeghi has won the following awards:
1. The Grand Prix from the Noma Concours for Children’s Picture Book Illustrations for Contemplation is the Best Worship, The Hero of Heroes, and The Voyages of Sindbad the Sailor (1978) 2. The Grand Prix from the Best Designed Books from All Over the World (an exhibition held in Leipzig in 1980) for Contemplation is the Best Worship 3. The Grand Prix from the First Biennial of Iran Graphic Design Exhibition for book illustration (1985) 4. Honorable Mention from the Institute for the Intelectual Development of Children and Young Adults for Victory (1989)
In 1977 Sadeghi stopped making films altogether and devoted himself entirely to painting, beginning with a surrealistic style and resuming his watercolour after many years.”When”, he remarks, “I feel relieved from the tensions that lead me to surrealist painting, I turn to watercolour in my moments of spiritual quietude.”
1988 Solo Exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1988 Solo Exhibition, La Chaux-de-Fonds Art Gallery,Switzerland
1989 Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1989 Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1989 Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran
1990 Noqreh Books, Tehran
1990 Seyhoun Art Gallery, Tehran
1990 Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran
1990 Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran
1991 Exports Development Center, Tehran
1991 Solo Exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran, “Watercolors, Iran the Land of Love, Part1”
1992 Solo Exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran, “Watercolors, Iran the Land of Love, Part2”
1992 Solo Exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran, “Sketches of Oil Paintings”
1992 Solo Exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran, “Watercolors”
1992 Museum of Contemporary Arts, Tehran, “Images of Iran’s Contemporary Arts”
1992 Niavaran Cultural Center, Tehran, “Painting exhibition in support of the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina”
1993 Exhibition of Export Development Organization of Iran, “Paintings and Miniatures”
1993 Painting Biennial, Tehran
1993 “Watercolor exhibition, Kerman; Memorial of Presence” a solo exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran
1996 “Watercolor exhibition, Kerman; Memorial of Presence” a solo exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran
1996 Bern, Switzerland, “Watercolor and oil painting exhibition in Salau Palace” and numerous group exhibitions in Iran and abroad.
2004 “Coalition” solo exhibition, Sabz Art Gallery, Tehran
2005 solo exhibition, Los Angeles, USA
2007 “nails” solo exhibition, Golestan Gallery, Tehran
2009 a Retrospective Exhibition, Arts cultural centre, Tehran
2011 Solo exhibition, Araan Gallery, Tehran
2012 100 selected drawings from ch
2013 screening of "The Rook" animation, Doha Museum of Islamic Arts, Qatar
2014 Depict around the world, Travel pieces, Arasbaran Cultural Centre, Tehran
Sadeghi's inspiration from the cultural heritage of Iran is not just aesthetic; the presence of Persian sagas and legends, epic poems and philosophies, and even the teachings of Gnosticism loom large in his work. While Sadeghi has undoubtedly been motivated by the varied artistic forms and schools of thought of his country, his productions have undeniable links to the automatic art of Max Ernst and De Chirico, among others. Considered by some to be Iran's Dali and by himself to be simply a narrator, Sadeghi's paintings give a 20υth/21υst Century edge to the typical Iranian story or image