Ali Banisadr was born in 1976 in Tehran, Iran. He moved to California with his family when he was a child and later attended the School of Visual Arts, New York, until 2005 and the New York Academy of Art, from which he graduated in 2007. He had his first solo exhibition at Leslie Tonkonow Artworks + Projects in New York in 2008.
Banisadr’s work is characterised by dream-like, hallucinatory and often chaotic landscapes. This subject matter is inspired by childhood memories, imaginary scenes, the history of painting and sound. Banisadr has synaesthesia (the ability to experience sound visually). As a young boy during the Iran-Iraq War, Banisadr would draw to create a visual understanding of the sounds of explosions and air raids. These internal noises guide his mark making on the canvas and plate to create layered compositions of disordered forms and figures.
Banisadr’s work has been internationally exhibited, with recent solo shows having taken place in the Palazzo Vecchio and Museo, Florence (2021); Benaki Museum, Athens (2020); Wadsworth Atheneum, Connecticut (2020); The Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna (2019); Het Noordbrabants Museum, Hertogenbosch, Netherlands (2019); The Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, USA (2019); Blain Southern, Berlin (2018); Sperone Westwater, New York (2017) and Galerie Thaddeaus Ropac, Paris (2015), which marked his fourth solo exhibition with the gallery up until that point.
Recent group exhibitions include Royal Academy of Arts, London; Vanhaerents Art Collection, Lille 3000, The Tripostal in Lille, France (2023); Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Asia Society, New York; Orlando Museum of Art, Florida (2021); The Frist Museum, Nashville (2018); The Chrysler Museum of Art, Virginia (2018); Centre Pompidou, Paris (2018); The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (2017); The British Museum, London (2016) and Grimm Gallery, Amsterdam (2016). In 2019, his work was featured in a group exhibition at Galerie Isa, Mumbai, which he also curated.
His work is held in public collections including The British Museum, London; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Museum der Moderne, Salzburg; Miniature Museum, The Hague; Francois Pinault Foundation, Palazzo Grassi, Venice; The Olbricht Foundation, Berlin; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Cristea Roberts Gallery published Banisadr’s first editions in 2019.
Ali Banisadr lives and works in New York.
News, Events and Museum Exhibitions
Ali Banisadr at Frieze London 2023
Painting by Ali Banisadr installed at Princeton
Hand-coloured prints by Banisadr in Lindisfarne Gospels exhibition
Exhibition: Beautiful Lies
Ali Banisadr's first major monograph
Exhibition: Epic Iran
Exhibition: Ultramarinus - Beyond the Sea
Exhibition: MATRIX 185
Review: "Ali Banisadr shows the state of the world, its climate of wars and disasters."
Conversation: “It’s such a grotesque, pointless thing that’s happening in front of me."
Review: Contemporary Iranian art that doesn’t shy away from politics
Interview: "I have perhaps witnessed the dark side of humanity."
Podcast: The Grand Tourist with Ali Banisadr
Interview: “Orhan Pamuk said it’s good to work in a place where you dream.”
Review: "These paintings offer singular visions of collective calamity."
Podcast: A brush with... Ali Banisadr
Interview: “I’ve always been interested in creating not a landscape but a worldscape.”
Exhibitions at Cristea Roberts Gallery
- Georg Baselitz
- Christiane Baumgartner
- Rana Begum
- Pablo Bronstein
- Gordon Cheung
- Rhys Coren
- Michael Craig-Martin
- Dexter Dalwood
- Ian Davenport
- Miriam de Búrca
- Jan Dibbets
- Jim Dine
- Joy Gerrard
- Antony Gormley
- Marie Harnett
- Yinka Ilori
- Idris Khan
- Langlands & Bell
- Richard Long
- Mick Moon
- David Nash
- Paul Noble
- Odili Donald Odita
- Julian Opie
- Mimmo Paladino
- Cornelia Parker
- Vicken Parsons
- Bridget Riley
- Francis Ruyter
- Yinka Shonibare CBE
- Emma Stibbon
- Joe Tilson
- Barbara Walker
- Paul Winstanley
- Clare Woods
- Richard Woods