Mehdi Ghadyanloo

, b. 1981

Ghadyanloo’s works envision a fictive architecture of playground slides, tubes, and ladders situated in shallow, walled spaces and lit from above by ocular skylights. Meticulously painted in acrylic and oil, their rounded forms are defined by dramatic chiaroscuro that represents the reflectivity, translucency, and opacity of polished steel, plastic, and other materials. The enigmatic paintings convey Ghadyanloo’s fascination with perspectival construction and illumination, and prompt metaphysical interpretations. From Iran, Ghadyanloo established a public art practice by completing more than a hundred expansive trompe l’oeil murals on buildings throughout Tehran from 2004 through 2011. In 2016, he became the first artist since 1979 to be officially commissioned in both Iran and the United States with the completion of his Spaces of Hope mural at the Rose Kennedy Greenway in Boston. In 2019, he painted Finding Hope, a mural triptych for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Building on the illusionism of his murals and their intensity of focus, Ghadyanloo’s dramatic works on canvas differ from them in their format, scale, and mode of address, bringing existential themes to the fore.