Shahrouz Nazari

Mitra the bearer of light: with a torch in his hand guiding the seekers out of darkness towards light. This is an Irano-Roman image 3 which for centuries was the symbol of salvation and whenever there was a notion of light in painting religious faith is mentioned and even when we think of the religious painters of the twentieth century, unconsciously we remember the ones who painted light. Newman, Rothko, Stella and Gottlieb are masters of a world which gains its meaning only through the light which is reflected by the artists, a light which has come from Renaissance, Koln and to Flanders and in the abstract paintings of the twentieth century was changed into a symbol of religion. The inner understanding of light and its opposition to the demonic abjection has turned to a religious archetype in a way that an art critic of Rothko's work once wrote: "In Rothko's paintings light has a movement similar to the Renaissance paintings in which the light of heaven was painted".

Even in the minimalist and much more physical works which we refer to as Hardedge abstract, the clear indications of geometrical surfaces as well as bright colors, the introvert nature of color and also an air of secrecy similar to the Mandala forms, draws the viewer to a world which is not far from the world of faith and religious adherence. Perhaps the best explanation of the similarities of art and religion is given by Motherwell: "This approach is based on the romantic wishes of the connection of an individual with the world and it is the effort to fill the inner void of man". And this goes to the point that literary stammer forces Irving Sandler to name these images ethereal colored pieces and Robert Rosenblum in despair refers to them as infinite bright vacuums.

In short the paintings of the twentieth century's post-painting play the role of post Renaissance mementos of our times and present a facade of the shortness of life, fear of death and the physical degeneration of man and against this is a world of light, immortality and God.

I said all this so that the viewer knows from what kind of vault Vahid Mohammadi's paintings have emerged and where the core of his work begins. The light that he promises is not the monastic form of light from the hermitage world. It is a mundane light of the kind that Dan Flavin uses and perhaps his indication to the cadmium color of light in the title of the collection wishes to bring this to mind. There is no doubt that after neon lights were introduced, the nature of light was changed forever, it was changed from a monastic to a mundane alternative. This goes as far that nowadays some somatic aspects of living have a neon denomination. And thus mortal spirituality in the world of art is known through Flavin. I presume that the only difference between Vahid and his idealistic view is the truth behind this Flavin view that the light emerging from his paintings does not promise any tranquility or resurrection and this is the only logical connection for him to find his way out of the outdated form of abstraction as we know it.