Life and work
|This biographical article relies on references to primary sources. (November 2012)|
Born in Tehran, Iran, in 1976, Ali Banisadr grew up during the Islamic revolution and the eight-year Iran-Iraq War. In 1988, he and his family left Iran, first to Turkey and then to California. In 2000, he moved to New York City where he received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005, and his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2007. Since his first solo exhibition in 2008, Banisadr has exhibited in the United States and abroad. Banisadr lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. He is represented by Sperone Westwater, New York.
Banisadr's work has been described as "remarkably complex paintings oscillating between the abstract and the figurative". His compositions have prompted comparison to Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel, as well as Persian miniatures. Critics have also highlighted the connections to the New York School painters of the 40s and 50s.
When asked about his paintings, Banisadr describes: "My work has always been about creating an encyclopedic world, a place that reflects what is occurring in my imagination." The artist draws a parallel to Jorge Luis Borges' short story The Aleph which describes a point in space that contains all other points and from where everything can be seen from every angle simultaneously.
Jeffrey Deitch writes about the artist: "Asked about the genesis of the work, Banisadr explains that his paintings begin with a sound and that his composition follows “the sounds within the painting.” He recalls that as a child in Iran, he would make drawings based on the explosions he would hear during the Eight Years’ War with Iraq. His painting process is still guided by this fusion of sound and image."
Ali Banisadr's work is in public collections such as The British Museum in London, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art, The Olbricht Collection in Germany, Francois Pinault Foundation, Vienna's Sammlung Essl,and Museum der Moderne, Salzburg.
The artist's work has been featured in "Love Me/Love Me Not: Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and Its Neighbors" at the 55th International Art Exhibition – Venice Biennale (2013)
- 2014: Motherboard, Sperone Westwater, New York
- 2012: We Haven’t Landed on Earth Yet, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Salzburg, Austria
- 2011: It Happened and It Never Did, Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York
- 2010: Evidence, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris (works on paper); Paintings, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris
- 2008: Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects, New York
Select recent group exhibitions
- 2014: Love Me/ Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbors, Heydar Aliyev Center, Baku, Azerbaijan
- 2013: Love Me/ Love Me Not, Contemporary Art from Azerbaijan and its Neighbors, The 55th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale, Venice, Italy
- 2012: Contemporary Iranian Art in the Permanent Collection, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Sound of Painting (Curated by Margherita Artoni), Palazzo Saluzzo Paesana, Turin, Italy
-  Sperone Westwater, New York.
-  Interview with Banisadr by Julie Chae for Huffington Post, April 2012.
-  Interview with Banisadr for Art Plural, December 2013.
-  Text about Banisadr by Jeffrey Deitch for the exhibition catalog Motherboard, March 2014.
- Banisadr, Ali. "Ali Banisadr Bio". Retrieved 25 November 2012.