The selected works, which span pen and ink sketches and 3-dimensional canvases, form an enriching inquiry into the relationships shared between geometry, astrology, and materiality.

The artist’s modular works on canvas are rooted in his preoccupation with geometric shapes which have been taken as a symbol of universal harmony across cultures. Observing the world through the interpretive systems of both Western and Persian astrology, Shaafi regards the universe with awe and understands that we are indivisible from it.

Shaafi looks to the future-seekers of the past, such as Nostradamus to better know the shape of the future. Drawing from this wisdom, the artist maintains that the unprecedented patterns in the skies of the present have given way to the unchartered changes in 2020 which we have begun to witness. In a profoundly personal statement, amidst our ongoing moment of pandemic and social unrest, Shaafi has returned to the purity of these patterns and structures of strict mathematical precision in order to make sense of his chaotic reality. He conflates cosmic energy flows with the satisfying order that geometric rhythms propose in order to form a fresh space grounded in positivity.

The works selected for, Presence of The Future, span 2-dimensional linear drawings and 3-dimensional works on canvas. Varying in scale, each piece takes its name from a particular star such as Venus (2020), Deneb (2020), or Canapus (2020). Following ancient geometric principles, Shaafi’s meditative process starts with delicate colored ink sketches comprised of tens of thousands of infinity lines encoded with the mysteries of the universe that appear in works such as the mesmeric Alpha Gruis (2020).

He then reformats these designs into modular 3D canvases which he stretches with meticulous precision and hand-paints. The individual elements then come together in symphony to form a whole each piece enriched with its own aura; witnessed in works such as Albaran (2020), which exudes cool, metallic precision or the melding psychedelia of ‘Deneb’. The artist often adds mixed matter to his canvases apparent in works such as Vega (2020) which is finely coated in a sprinkling of glass-like moon dust or the remnants of ancient asteroids.

The exhibit will be running until February 15. 

Peyman Shaafi was born in Iran. He spent his youth as a diligent scholar of calligraphy and Persian scripture. Shaafi’s earlier works drew from classic Nastaleeq design, one of the main calligraphic hands used in writing the Persian alphabet, before a shift that saw the artist attempt to reformat the rules and develop his own abstract approach which conflated design and script. Astrology and geometry became of increasing concern to the artist who later began to produce works rooted in eastern and western approaches to stargazing and future-seeking.

Shaafi has pioneered a fresh approach to his medium whereby he formulates 3D modular canvases in varied geometrical shapes which he constructs and stretches by hand. Shaafi then adorns them with oil paint and unexpected materials such as broken mirrors and glass to create experimental textures and aesthetic effects.

Peyman Shaafi lives and works in Paris, France.