January 5, 2014

Richter ; Artist or painter ?

by mahdimalaguena
Exhibition poster on the Centre Pompidou , 2012
© mahdi shadkar / instagram : mahdimalaguena

Gerhard Richter exhibition came to Centre Pompidou in Paris in 2012. I visited this exhibition twice, and I took some photos and videos. The exhibition poster was the famous ‘blur photo-painting’ Betty 1988 © Gerhard Richter 2012

Gerhard Richter – ‘Panorama’
Centre Pompidou
June 6 – September 24, 2012

I found three favorite styles in the Richter’s artworks :

1. Photo-paintings and the Blur
2. Abstract works
3. Color Chart paintings

Although his sculptures are interesting as well, but I guess his three styles were more unique.


Ema (Nude on a staircase) , Gerhard Richter’s exhibition
© mahdi shadkar / instagram : mahdimalaguena


Personalized, hand-made, Photoshop filter of Richter

Richter painted lots of photo-paintings. Photos based on variety of themes and sources : from newspapers and books, sometimes incorporating their caption, also he took lots of photos of his wife and his daughter Betty.

Many of these paintings are made in a multi step process of representations. He starts with a photograph, which he has found from somewhere or taken himself, and projects it onto his canvas, where he traces it for exact form. Taking his color palette from the photograph, he paints to replicate the look of the original picture. His hallmark “blur” is sometimes a softening by the light touch of a soft brush, sometimes a radical way. In some paintings blurs and brush touches are severe enough to disrupt the image and perturb the subject. it becomes hard to understand or believe. The subject is nullified. In these paintings, images and symbols (such as landscapes, portraits, and news photos) are rendered fragile illusions.

Richter continued painting pictures from black-and-white photographs during the 1960s and early 1970s to ridicule the act of painting with details.


Large-format abstract of Richter
© mahdi shadkar / instagram : mahdimalaguena


The phenomenon of perception : Large-format abstract paintings of Richter

This is his abstraction approach. When Richter wants to draw realistic paintings with details, photo-painting approach would be a shortcut to criticize classic painting. Although his perception feelings would translate to large-format abstract toile, the largest of it’s kind.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 01.37.30

Color chart of Richter
© mahdi shadkar / instagram : mahdimalaguena


High resolution colored pixels of Richter

When I saw his color charts, the first thing came to my mind, was a high resolution display with variant colored pixels. Only Richter, the king of large-format toile, could do this. Color chart with different presentation, like ‘pixels’ , ‘strips’ and etc.

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 01.39.58

Color strips of Richter
© mahdi shadkar / instagram : mahdimalaguena

My video in front of ‘Color Strips’ masterpiece, by Richter

May 27, 2012

Insanity of an artist

by mahdimalaguena
Madness is a part of her artworks. Because truly she had psychological problems. So, how could be the interpretation of insanity into the art? I know an example : YAYOI KUSAMA
When I visited Kusama’s exhibition in Paris (in december 2011), I discovered this turbulent artist due to remarkable diversity from her early artworks until the very last recent ones. Yayoi Kusama created lots of artworks in any genre, from 50 s until now. But the only frequent element of her art is : dots.
The concept of ‘Endless Dots’ or ‘Infinity Nets’ is her unique connecting ring to her entire works. She called ‘Self Obliteration’, with emphasize the ‘dots’ and use them to fillfull all the 2D and 3D spaces, to abolish other things, or maybe to abolish her surrundings, or  herself, indeed.
She liked a lot to be photographed in front of her dotty works, dressed in dotty dresses, or simply nude with some color dots on her skin. Means she wanted to be part of her environment to be obliterated with dots, while vanishing into the infinity. Could be kind of escaping from herself, or something like that. I can’t judge because I know nothing about psycology. But this is the way I think about her feelings.
She continued with some performances, to draw dots on nude humans, horses, dogs and cats, and even the water. In one performance, she put red dots on the water.

Self Obliteration – Yayoi Kusama – 1967

Yayoi putting dots on a nude body

White Infinity Dots – Yayoi Kusama – 2007

Kusama and her dots all around

The moment of Regeneration (2004)

Kusama learned a theme from her ‘Dots’ concept, and that was ‘accumulation’. So, in the middle of her works, about 70s and 80s, she started to create objects in any categories, in series, and started to accumulate them together to have a pile of those objects. But she returned to her initiative simple minimal favorite object -dots- to accumulate them in new ways. So, 3D Environments of Kusama have been created, and  2D canvas with white color-dots transformed to 3D spaces, designed to show infinity with mirror walls and mirror ceiling, full of dotty objects. This time, the dots could be ‘lights’.
I took some photos inside 2 environment of Kusama in Paris exhibition in Centre Pompidou. A video of a psychologist talking about Kusama is as follows. (in French), also another video, presenting her exhibition. The videos are official videos of Centre Pompidou Paris.
Environment of Kusama – Centre Pompidou Paris – Photo : Mahdi Shadkar

Me, while visiting the exhibition, another environment of Kusama

More photos taken by me , here :Environment of YAYOI

Présentation de  l’exposition Kusama au Centre Pompidou

Memory of Yayoi’s exhibition, up to 56 minutes of video on entire exhibtion The order of this virtual visit is exactly chronologic from her early works in Japan, and white canvas dotty artworks, until the environments and very last works of Yayoi Kusama.

A psychologist talking about Kusama  (in French)

February 24, 2012

Pioneers of modern architecture in Iran

by mahdimalaguena

The model of The Senate House of Iran, Heydar Ghiaï, 1955, Tehran

Mohsen Foroughi

Mohsen Foroughi, Architect

Born in 1907, as the son of the famous political man, statesman and man of letters Moḥammad Ali Foroughi, Mohsen Foroughi is one of the pioneer of modern architecture in Iran. an influential professor of architecture at the University of Tehran, and a noted collector of Persian art. He was imprisoned in 1979 after the revolution.

He was sent to study abroad in 1926. In Paris he attended the prestigious Lycée Jeanson-de-Sailly and was successful at the stringent entrance examinations, the concours, for both the École centrale and the École des beaux-arts. He chose École des beaux-arts of Paris (Paris school of fine arts), specializing in architecture. He graduated in 1937, coming first in his class and winning the prize for the best diploma.

He turned back to Iran,  and taught at the various Faculties of the University of  Tehran, including the Faculty of Engineering as well as at the School of Architecture, which was still seperate from campus of University of Tehran.  He was one, along with André Godard, Roland Dubrul, and Maxime Siroux, in establishing the University of Tehran’s Faculty of Fine Arts in 1940 and was one of its initial professors, eventually succeeding Godard as its dean. (Architecte Journal No 1 )

Foroughi collaborated with Godard, Siroux, and Dubrul on the design of the master plan for the University of Tehran and its associated buildings, including the Faculty of Law and Political Science. During a long and productive career stretching over forty years, he worked with a number of well-known Persian architects, including  Ali Sadegh, Kayqhobad Zafar, and later with Haydar Ghiai (Architecte Journal No 5).

Foroughi was the architect of numerous public buildings while associated with the technical office of the National Bank (Bānk-e mellī) and with the Ministries of Finance and Education. Architectural projects designed by him include the Ministry of Finance and a series of buildings for the National Bank including hospitals, bank offices in Tehran’s bazar, and branches in Shiraz, Isfahan, and Tabriz. He also advised and carried out several restoration and building projects for the National Monuments Council of Iran (Anjoman-e âsâr-e melli), including designs for the mausoleums of Sa’di in Shiraz and Baba Taher in Hamadan.

Foroughi established one of the first journals in architecture in Iran, called Architect. 

Sa’di Tomb, Mohsen Foroughi, 1960, Shiraz

Foroughi, collaborated permenently with another architect younger than him : Heydai Ghiaï.

Heydar Gholi Khan Ghiaï-Chamlou

Heydar Ghiaï, Architect

He was born in Tehran in 1922 and died in 1985 in Cap d’Antibes, France. Heydar Ghiaï-Chamlou graduated from the École des Beaux-Arts Paris in 1952, was known as a pioneer of modern architecture in Iran. He designed the Senate House, the Royal Tehran Hilton Hotel, several train stations, cinemas, various civic and government buildings and the first series of state of the art hospitals. As a Professor of Architecture at the University of Tehran, he taught several generations of architects.

Heydar Ghiaï designed the Senate House of Iran (The Parliament bulding  of Islamic Republic of Iran from 1979 to 2005)  in 1955. The construction was led by Mr. Rahmat Safai. There are artistic elements such as sculptural columns of the façade and the dome, designed by Ghiaï. The dome of The Senate House was one of the most technically challenging projects in Ghiaï’s entire career.

André Bloc, French artist,  admired the columns of The Senate House, in his book “De la sculpture à l’architecture”. Also, Bloc worked with Foroughi and Ghiaï in some designs and projects later.

Although the Senate’s architect was Ghiaï, but André Bloc in his book, named also Mohsen foroughi as co-architect of the project.

However, Yves Ghiaï, the son of Heydar Ghiaï, says that the main reason of this collaboration between Foroughi and his father, was that Foroughi had good relations with the government, because of his political weight. Specially for the project of The Senate House, Foroughi had just executed the sculptural columns, which were designed and drew by Heydar Ghiaï. That’s the reason that André Bloc mentioned Mohsen Foroughi, due to the sculptural columns of The Senate House.

The Sculptural Culomns, The Senate House of Iran, scanned from André Bloc’s book “De la sculpture à l’architecture”

The Sculptural Culomns, The Senate House of Iran, scanned from André Bloc’s book “De la sculpture à l’architecture”

The Dome of The Senate House of Iran, Heydar Ghiaï, 1955

Ghiaï Crest, The Dome of The Senate House of Iran, Heydar Ghiaï, 1955

Mashad University Hospital, Heydar Ghiaï, 1973, Mashad

Mashad University Hospital, Heydar Ghiaï, 1973, Mashad

Mashad University Hospital, Heydar Ghiaï, 1973, Mashad

Hotel Hilton, Heydar Ghiaï, 1973, Tehran

Lavizan Military Hospital, Heydar Ghiaï, 1971, Tehran

Mohsen Foroughi and Heydar Ghiaï designed The House of Iran in Paris Student Campus in 1960. The construction lasted until 1968 and the whole project was with collaboration of Claude Parent, the French architect, and André Bloc, the French sculpturer and artist. For more information about this, read more HERE.

I’ve heard that the project Maison d’Iran was designed by Heydar Ghiaï, and Mohsen Foroughi (maybe more, Heydar Ghiaï), and Claude Parent collaborated with them, as the role of André Bloc, which was only the sculptural aspect of the spiral stairs of the building. So, I can say, the concept of this project was processed by Heydar Ghiaï.

As follows, there are 2 pages of my analysis of Maison d’Iran for Paris Val De Seine School of Architecture.

Maquette of Iran House (1960-1968) by Heydar Ghiaï, Mohsen Foroughi, André Bloc and Claude Parent.

The House of Iran by Foroughi, Ghiaï, Parent, Bloc

The House of Iran by Foroughi, Ghiaï, Parent, Bloc

References :

Photos : Yves Ghiaï collection

P. Amiet and Ph. Gignoux, “Mohsen Foroughi (1907-1984),” Stud. Ir. 15, 1986, pp. 245-48.

M. Marefat, “Building to Power: Architecture of Tehran 1921-1941,” Ph.D. diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, 1988.

January 12, 2011

Expo Claude Parent

by mahdimalaguena

Utopia Drawings of Claude Parent

Claude Parent is called : The utopist of the territory.

In 2010 in Paris, Claude Parent has been featured in a complete collection exhibition at The Cite Chaillot. The scenography of this exhibition is made by Jean Nouvel, the french architect.

The 87-year-old architect became famous in the 60s when he talked about a theory called The Fonction Oblique. Parent has broken down the classic definitions of horizontality and verticality. He suggested that buildings should no longer fit into a strict square, but instead include slopes, ramps and wall-free areas. So, the Verticality is no more a representative for elevation, and the Horizontality is no more plan.

Practically, he is the last French modernist architect.

I personally adore his drawings. He is very good in drawings, and also, he thought about the future cities, in drawing them. Oblique City …

I made an analysis of the whole exhibition. Scenography, as well as the masterpieces, and all the documents of this exhibition, as a work for school of architecture.

Claude Parent collaborations with Paul Virilio, made him think about philosophic terms of society and the territory. So, I think this is the most important part of this architect, to collaborate and exchange ideas with the others. As well as Paul Vilirio, Andre Bloc was another collaborator of Parent. Bloc, as an artist, shaped a part of Parent’s works.

I visited this exhibition, 5 times, in order to do my best for this analysis. I’d like to assume this exhibition, like a university. A collection of modernist intellectual works, which make architects think, and learn. Also, it insists of the important role of the architect in the world, not only to build the ordinary building, but also think furthermore, to larger scales, to territory and the future territory of the human being. To think about Utopia. I learned that the architect is not the one who tries to fill full the land around himself with brutal concrete. To be an architect is not only to build, but is to create space, and to dress the future, like a fashion designer.

Here is my power-point analysis file for download :   Analyse EXPO Claude Parent – Mahdi SHADKAR

And here is my power-point movie format :

This is the official presentation video of  Exhibition, by The Cite Chaillot

Claude Parent is visiting his own exhibition

January 10, 2011

ARMAN / objects

by mahdimalaguena

ARMAN; Reliefs Muraux – Piranhas I, 1981

Jean Baudrillard is the philosopher who criticizes the consumption society. For Baudrillard, it was consumption, rather than production, which was the main drive in capitalist society. He criticizes the Marx’s concept of “use-value.”, and he thinks to different forms of values for objects in our society.

According to him, there are four ways of an object obtaining value. The four value-making processes are as follows:

  • The first is the functional value of an object; its instrumental purpose. A pen, for instance,writes; and a refrigerator cools. Marx’s “use-value” is very similar to this first type of value.
  • The second is the exchange value of an object; its economic value. One pen may be worth three pencils; and one refrigerator may be worth the salary earned by three months of work.
  • The third is the symbolic value of an object; a value that a subject assigns to an object in relation to another subject. A pen might symbolize a student’s school graduation gift or a commencement speaker’s gift; ora diamond may be a symbol of publicly declared marital love.
  • The last is the sign value of an object; its value within a system of objects. A particular pen may, while having no added functional benefit, signify prestige relative to another pen; a diamond ring may have no function at all, but may suggest particular social values, such as taste or class.

ARMAN exhibition  ; Fictional appearance of objects.

What is the value of ARMAN’s objects ?

ARMAN exhibition is an exhibition of objects. Fictional appearance of ordinary and everyday objects. The object, to be, more in quantity rather than in quality.

Arman is the artist of objects, and his works have been linked to the question of object. Why object? Because the object was the smallest unit of production and consumption, two keywords of the society after the world war 2.

The main theme of his works was object accumulation. He started this theme, with the garbage. Garbage accumulation was a critique to the consumption society.

So Arman is interested in manufactured objects, and tried to give an interpretation, and also to use them as artistic materials.

By accumulation of objects, he destroyed the brutality of purpose and functionality. Instead, he transformed them to sculptural mass of objects, creating a new exposed and harmonic object, with different value. The value of ART.

ARMAN objects


November 24, 2010

André Bloc; Sculptor participating in Architecture

by mahdimalaguena

André Bloc was an artist; placticien, and sculptor. From his artistic works and collaborations in architecture, he has become an architect. He wrote a book called “De la sculpture à l’architecture” with the sculptures referred as inspirations for architects. From the curved shapes of body, to straight shapes of the minimal sculptures of 60’s.

It was the influence of Le Corbusier, and the sculpture, that made the engineer Bloc, became an architect.

“I can say that it is the sculpture that has helped me to understand the architecture and urbanism. It may be strange, surprising, but true. “André Bloc, Architecture Aujourd’hui n°59-60, Special André Bloc, December 1967.

Bloc’s collaborated on the sculptural project of “Maison d’Iran” in “Cité Universitaire de Paris”, with the architects Claude Parent, Mohsen Foroughi and Heidar Ghiai.

The epoch 60’s seems to me one of the inspiring eras of modern thinking in art and architecture. These are all belong to 60’s.

2 photos scanned from André Bloc’s book “De la sculpture à l’architecture”

Mohsen Foroughi & Heidar Ghiai; Iran Parliament building, Tehran, 1960

Mohsen Foroughi & Heidar Ghiai; Iran Parliament building, Tehran, 1960

André Bloc; Sculpture Habitat n°2, 1964 , France

André Bloc; Project for a cultural center in Iran, 1965

André Bloc, Mohsen Foroughi, Heydar Ghiai, Claude Parent ; Maison d’Iran, 1960 , Paris

October 21, 2010

megastructure/soft plasticité

by mahdimalaguena

Sometimes it could be delicate to see a paradoxal masterpiece. Soft and Solid. Velvety and Rough. This has happened on this masterpiece of Claude Parent, Mohsen Foroughi and Heydar Ghiai; maison d’Iran, in collaboration with an artist. This is the plasticité of artist which has become architecture, with megastructure. Also there is the Contrast ; on the black/white facade of the building. Suspension ; Expression of suspended mass, in steel frame. Modularity ; Also the modular form of the suspended volumes. It comes to mind that the building could be continued with the 3rd and 4th additional suspended volumes on the top. Like the drawings of Piet Mondrian.

Modular drawing of Peit Mondrian with no borders

Maison d’Iran – Claude Parent

According to Ralph Wilcoxon, the four-part definition of megastructure is as follows :

1. Constructed of modular units;

2. Capable of great or even ‘unlimited’ extension;

3. A structural framework into which smaller structural units (for example, rooms, houses, or small buildings of other sorts) can be built -or even ‘plugged-in’ or ‘clipped-on’ after having been prefabricated elsewhere;

4. A structural framework expected to have a useful life much longer than that of the smaller units which it might support;

So, according to this four-part definition, we can say Maison d’Iran is a kind of megastructure, but not completely achieved the 4th part of the definition.

Completed in 1968 at the university campus of Paris, the House of Iran was the last of 38 buildings built on this large 35 acres site, dedicated to housing the international students.
In the early 1960s, under the leadership of Farah Diba ( the last Queen of Iran ), the project of a building for students come from Iran to Paris, is handed to Claude Parent, André Bloc ( the artist ) and two Iranian architects, Mohsen Foroughi and Heydar Ghiai.

Last semester, I have analyzed this building in 2 pages as a school work.

Maison d’Iran Analysis – page 1

Maison d’Iran analysis – Page 2