Sep 13, 2020, 1:25 PM
Journalist ID: 1842
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Hannibal Alkhas; father of figurative drawing in modernist painting

Tehran, Sept 13, IRNA – Hannibal Alkhas was an Iranian contemporary modernist painters and the starter of figurative drawing in Iran. He is also among the most effective painters and art educators in the country’s contemporary painting.

Born in Kermanshah, western Iran, in 1930, Hannibal started painting at an early age. He painted caricatures for magazines.

To follow his dream, he later came to Tehran to study painting. He pursued his painting career with coffeehouse painting, a style of Iranian painting that focuses on epic and religious themes.

He then leaned toward portrait-painting but made a name as a figurative painter, to whom human face and figure was an obsession.

As an Assyrian-Christian in love with poetry, he translated Persian poems of Hafez (1315 - 1390), Parvin Etesami (1907 - 1941), and Nima Youshij (1897 –1960) into his mother tongue. He kept the rhythm and meaning of the poems in his translations.

He spent 35 years of his life teaching, but his main passion was always painting. He taught in the colleges and universities of Iran and the United States. He put on 100 individual and 200 group exhibitions in Iran, Europe, the US, and Canada.

He is the father of figurative drawing in modernist painting of Iran. He died on 14 September 2010, at the age of 80.

Alkhas was an artist whose beliefs and mentality started new chapter in Iranian modernism.

Human figures are abundantly seen in his paintings. The other characteristic of his paintings is use of bright colors, which are the cornerstone of eastern art. His works have contrasts of warm and cold colors like those seen in Persian carpets and textile, which show the eastern spirit of his mentality.  

Another feature of Alkhas’ art is use of ancient mythical patterns. Despite living a long time in the West, he never let go of his motherland achievements and tried his best to re-create Iranian traditions of narratives and storytelling in his paintings.

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