Mahmoud Saleh Mohammadi's paintings have their raison d'être in their essentiality.
A formal and chromatic simplicity that appears silent, but at the same time dense with spirituality.
The unifying element of these works is a gold line, conceived as a symbolic part of a larger circle,
the circle of life.
Each painting contains a piece of this, as if to protect and elevate it into an ethereal, ideal space.
The shades of white and grey delicately spread on the canvas refer to the idea of a blank page on which it is still all to be written. The golden line thus is only the beginning of a narrative that will come to life precisely from that first sign.
The word Katibeh in Persian, Mahmoud’s mother tongue, means inscription. The inscriptions referred to by this title are the Middle Persian texts carved, incised or engraved on durable materials like stone and metal. They were public messages intended to be permanent.
With his Katibeh-series, Mahmoud leaves an eternal impression by using unavoidably provisionally materials. Acrylic paint on canvas, embellished with Persian calligraphic elements made of gold, symbols and signs that result in abstract forms, to be considered as traces of a fracture that has been remedied.
This refers to the Japanese philosophy of kintsugi, namely the ancient, traditional practice of using liquid gold to repair broken objects with the idea that from imperfection and wounds can arise an even greater form of aesthetic and inner perfection.
As a thread throughout Mahmoud Saleh Mohammadi’s artistic practice runs the search for connections, between history, present and future of his own and other cultures of his encounter. He mixes the above explained historical, arbitrary but clear distinction between temporary and permanent functions of inscriptions on a visual, contemporary level, referring to his roots as a base and giving it a personal twist at the same time.
The Katibeh-series is a result of this historical knowledge, aesthetically translated and enriched with traditions of other cultures with both feet in contemporary art history. It is furthermore a result of meticulous work and patient practical artistic development which, step by step, found its way to its final form: modestly rich both in concept as in execution.