Iranian-American abstract painter Ali Banisadr: ‘It becomes a game of taming these things, these fragmentations’

Photo by Monika Müller-Kroll



Ali Banisadr opens his first exhibition at Blain|Southern Berlin this weekend. “The World Upside Down” consists of works on paper and large-scale, abstract paintings that pulsate with detailed forms the artist calls “fragmentations.”

A Banisadr painting always begins very abstract, but often with an atmosphere the artist aims to capture, which can even be a single color that “triggers a certain mood or place and time.” As a painting progresses, Banisadr begins coaxing out the figures and relationships that emerge within the fragmentations. According to the artist, “it becomes a matter of: how much do I develop these figures? How much do I… leave them where they are in this between motion space?”

Now based in New York, Banisadr was born in Tehran and raised in California. In a way, he himself occupies a space between both “worlds” of the tense U.S.-Iranian relationship, which he says highlights the “propaganda” driving each country to view the other as “evil.” Which world might he be referencing with “The World Upside Down?” “Our world, which is my world also,” the artist replies with a laugh.

“The World Upside Down” will be on view at Blain|Southern Berlin from September 29 through November 17, 2018.




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