Contemplation and Rhythm
Nasiri, the painter, was born in 1940 in a city that lies at the depth of the legend and one which the desert conceals in a permanent mystery immutable by the infinite stretch of the horizons.
Born to an Iraqi family of ancient lineage, Nasiri immortalizes a genuine abstract tradition the craft and spirit of which have been very cleanly defined by Islamic artists.
With effortless skill, Nasiri-painter, graphic artist and creator-transports us to the atmosphere of a country where the sun sprays its light as lemon dust on sands stretch endlessly with neither defined lines nor shades. The scorched land extends so infinitely that sight becomes completely engulfed in its limitless stretch. Except for the phoenix that flaps its powerful wings – the symbol of the supremacy of spiritual over material things – there is nothing to disturb or shatter the still silence in its rich reverie.
Nasiri's painting reveals an inexhaustible source of variations centering round a main subject: The desert. The atmosphere of the desert does not fail to exercise its profound impact on us. The solid masses of earth, so brilliantly illuminated in purple; skies so permanently blue; the mauve coloured mountains in which jade green and turquoise undulate with the slant of the sun's rays, or with the effect of night as it approaches dawn – the interplay of all these factors contribute towards reminding us of time in its firm establishment, as well as in its infinite duration.
Nasiri, moreover, exhausts horizontal lines that disguise in themselves the keys of a millennial art.
This artist responds to the just of rhythmic reverberations and in so doing he becomes a reminder of the constant duration of movement which springs forth from the charm of connected elements.
However, metaphysical exploration in no way negates its rigorous submission to an order of things that relates to mathematical laws within the framework of a precise equilibrium between the spirit and its function.
Arabian ornament, and linear marks, that flourish in the paintings of Nasiri are reminders of the materialism of things and the world. They affirm that abstraction shall not be limited to continuation or to the defining Sentiments is only on account of its being an instrument for spiritual discoveries, thus arabesque is a living indication. Ethereal as may see, these linear compositions are also a recording of reality where in the recurrences of time are inscribed in the form of interlacing picture.
Tamed by space, the delicate and refine works of Nasiri are both conscious and cognizant of their being an art in which geometry is connected to both music and script in a metaphysical harmony. Nay, it is a homage paid to beauty and to the unity of the soul and the word.
Paris, February 1983
* Rafa Nasiri held in 1983 a one-man show at Gallery Faris in Paris