An ‘un-schooled artist,’ Faramarz Zahedi was never able to pursue his own artistic practice formally. Instead, he developed his compassionate eye in the moments between his day job, working as a bilingual clerk at the Iranian consulate in London, and establishing a life for his family around Ladbroke Grove. With a life and career cut short, Faramarz’s artworks have long been resting in familial storage unseen.
First coming to our attention through the contextualisation of his son, Abbas Zahedi’s site-sensitive installation Brick Lane Foundation (2021), Faramarz’s works have an innate sense of grace. His paintings depict quiet scenes, vases of flowers within the flows of an ambient surround. Far from romantic gushes, the formal paring of thick impasto and painterly washes not only gives these artworks an innate body and confidence but suggests something of Faramarz’s own becoming and aesthetic interests. Indeed, the formalities of these works suggest that Faramaz was more than a Sunday painter; behind his careful hands lie decisive eyes and a conceptual demeanour, those attributes of a true poet.
As the first presentation of Faramarz’s work, our aspirations with this exhibition are not to contain the sensibilities found across these his oeuvre. Rather, echoing something of Faramarz’s own hand, Untitled: “Good / some specks of / purple needed / in the middle / set it dry first” is an open affordance, a moment of encounter, through which to contemplate the legacies of this un-seen body and his enduring artistic influence.