Hossein Valamanesh : Puisque tout passe (This Will Also Pass), Institut des Cultures d'Islam, 23.09.21 — 13.02.22
This Will Also Pass was a major exhibition of Valamanesh's work before his passing in January of 2022. Valamanesh has been a leading Australian artist for decades and contributed a body of work that is at once highly personal and universal—exploring time, place, displacement, family and his cultural heritage.
The exhibition included a selection of works dating from the 1980s to 2021 and enabled visitors to discover Valamanesh's artistic approach inspired by the writings of Jalāl al-Dīn Rūmī, the thirteenth-century Persian mystical poet who had a profound influence on Sufism. Combining surreal humour and the sobriety of Arte Povera, Hossein Valamanesh's art brings together many references that evoke his childhood memories, his experience of exile, and the profound spiritual links between people and their environment, and combines them, creating an awareness of the impermanence of all things and beings: This Will Also Pass.
True to the fluidity of this thought process, the exhibition explored various epochs and sources of inspiration, pre-existing works, and those specifically created for the exhibition.
In 2001 Art + Australia published an extended article on Hossein Valamanesh's work by Sarah Thomas, Hossein Valamanesh: A Material Journey (Vol 38, Number 4, Winter 2001). In the article Thomas captures the material and evanescent quality of the artists poetic practice as Thomas states:
His is an art of transition, of juncture, in which cultures gently collide and correspond. Having now spent over half his life in Australia, his memories of, and poetic responses to Iran have become ever more distilled, as the gradual processes of vaporisation and subsequent condensation occur. Using elemental materials to address subjects such as love, sadness, loss and tenderness, Valamanesh avoids nostalgia or cliched romanticism, finding instead his own visual vocabulary which speaks across cultures.
GAGPROJECTS released a moving statement commemorating Hossein Valamanesh and his contribution to art that can be read here.