NESHAN, The Iranian Graphic Design Magazine

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Neshan 46/47


My House is Cloudy; Farshid Mesghali’s illustrations for Nima Yushij’s poems

Ali Bakhtiari

Nima is a collection of 20 images that were illustrated by Farshid Mesghali at the beginning of 1980 based on Nima Yushij’s poems and produced as an artist handbook in 2017 by ABBookness. Having illustrated some Persian contemporary poems in 1977 in a book called The Moonlight Passes Through, Farshid believed that Nima Yushij is one of the most important Iranian Modernists and illustrated this collection with an aesthetical interaction of contemporary painting and Persian miniatures. The first edition of this book was published by Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults; however, the book was never well-received due to its illustrations and association of Ahmad Mohammadpour Kasehgari’s classic calligraphy with Mesghali’s illustrations. Initial images were one-colored black drawing on white background, however, given Mise-en-scène of Nima’s poems, negative of images were used for the artist handbook. With its layered construction of images and texts, the book becomes a visual exploration in Nima’s night and moonlight. Nima is a book of 20 screen-printed images on hand made paper and 20 poems on calque paper in an edition of 100. Each cover is designed and hand-painted by the artist. The production of the book initiated in spring 2016 and finished in fall 2017.

Farshid Mesghali was born in Isfahan, Iran in 1943. He studied painting under the tutelage of Ali Mohammad Heydarian, Mahmoud Javadipour, and Javad Hamidi at Faculty of Fine Arts, Tehran University and was graduated in 1968. He began his professional career as an illustrator in Negin magazine and went on working as a graphic designer for years to come. In the 1970s, he joined the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) after working with Negareh company, and in 1968, he won the first prize at Bologna’s International Children Books’ Fair and Bratislava Biannual for Little Black Fish. He founded graphic and animations departments in IIDCYA. Whilst working with IIDCYA as a graphic designer, a children’s book illustrator, and an animated film director, he won many awards. He won Hans Christain Andersen Award in 1974. He began painting, drawing and working on sculptures in the 1970s in Paris. In 1986, he moved to California, USA, and opened his studio, Desktop Studio. In 1997, he returned to Tehran and started working on projects in his studio. He had a number of exhibitions including One man show at Bratislava Museum in 1970 and One man show at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, the Netherlands in 1972. In 2005, KIT Museum in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, commissioned him with a Layla and Majnun installation for their permanent collection which was installed in 2006.

Ali Bakhtiari

is a Tehran based curator focused on cultural studies and modern and contemporary art. He collaborated with many international museums and centers such as Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, British Museum, Museo MAXXI and Centre Georges Pompidou. He founded ABBookness project in 2011 which is the first Middle Eastern project collaborating with artist on publication of Artist Books. ABBookness already publishe d works of artists such as Farideh Lashai, Parviz Tanavoli, Parvaneh Etemadi and Ali Akbar Sadeghi.


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