Against the Absurdity of Life: Parham Ghalamdar

10 August - 15 September 2021

Maria Behnam-Bakhtiar is pleased to announce Against the Absurdity of Life an exhibition of select works by Iranian artist Parham Ghalamdar, on view from August 10 through September 15 (extended through 29 October 2021). 


The mixed media works on display were preliminary inspired by Albert Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus. Parham Ghalamdar used painting as a vehicle to practice Absurdist and Existentialist philosophies. The dictionary describes ‘absurd’ as a state, where man exists within an irrational and meaningless universe and in which man’s life has no meaning outside of his own existence. In such a world, the very act of searching for meaning pushes the curious man into a more unwanted conflict with his universe. That is the space where Ghalamdar’s paintings happen – a restless struggle to find reason, order, and, above all, discipline. Probably the best example of such behaviour would be Camus’ writings, where Sisyphus protests absurdity by embracing his fate, continuing it, refusing to resign. Similarly, the artist finds painting and continuing to paint an act of co-operating with life without actually being able to come to terms with the displacement. The works exhibited explore painting through a paradoxical trust and mistrust in relation to the aesthetics of 2D cartoons, graffiti, Biblical illustrations, Persian miniature, and the switching between these codes. As a result, the volume of the absurdity is so immense, it strips off elements of narration or storytelling, encouraging the painting to develop its own identity.


Parham Ghalamdar’s works have been exhibited internationally, and are included in numerous notable private art collections. 


About the Artist

Parham Ghalamdar (B. 1994 Tehran, Iran), lives and works in Manchester, UK. He received a Printing and Media BA (Hons) in 2015 from Art University, Tehran, Iran, Fine Art BA (Hons) and Painting MA from Manchester School of Art, Manchester UK.