Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest

10 March – 22 April 2018

Image: Hadi Tabatabai, Transitional Spaces, 2017 (detail); thread, acrylic paint, aluminum frame, wooden platform; 7' x 4' x 10'. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy of wats: ON? Festival, Carnegie Mellon University

Image: Hadi Tabatabai, Transitional Spaces, 2017 (detail); thread, acrylic paint, aluminum frame, wooden platform; 7' x 4' x 10'. Collection of the artist. Image courtesy of wats: ON? Festival, Carnegie Mellon University

Click on the artist's name to read the biography.

Hadi Tabatabai

photo of Hadi Tabatabai Hadi Tabatabai is an Iranian-born abstract artist. His paintings are extremely minimalistic, combining monochromatic squares and rectangles to create work that many consider to be reminiscent of Agnes Martin and John McLaughlin. Tabatabai was born in Mashad, Iran in 1964, and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1977. The artist received a BS in Industrial Technology from California State University, Fresno, and a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute in 1995. Tabatabai’s work has been shown widely in the United States, as well as in London, Bonn, and Turin. He has had solo exhibitions at the Anthony...

Hadi Tabatabai Full Bio

Elegant, minimalist, and monochromatic, Hadi Tabatabai’s paintings and sculpture engage the senses and bring us to the liminal point, the boundary of perception. 

Lannan Foundation Announces a Public Exhibition

Contact: Christie Davis
Tel. 505.954.5149 
christie@lannan.org

Gallery hours: Saturdays and Sundays noon to 5pm or by appointment

309 Read Street, Santa Fe, NM

Opening reception Saturday 10 March from 5 to 7pm Lannan Foundation Gallery 309 Read Street, Santa Fe, NM

About the Exhibition

To Find Rest presents the work of San Francisco artist Hadi Tabatabai. The exhibition features several monochromatic thread paintings; the centerpiece is an installation entitled Transitional Spaces. Measuring 7' x 4' x 10', this ethereal structure combines drawing, painting, and sculpture. Drawing on the viewer’s sense of perception, the piece seems to float in air while alternatively leading the viewer toward a doorway to the unknown. 

Meticulously constructed of tautly pulled thread, the works speak to a methodical and meditative practice. Using a palette of black, white, and gray, Tabatabai plays with the nature of negative and positive space, engaging the viewer to actively look in order to see. Squares and rectangles, made by the application of paint to thread or paint to acrylic panel, create an optical illusion of movement or extreme depth. 

Hadi Tabatabai is a contemporary minimalist, inspired most notably by the artist Agnes Martin (1912–2004). After seeing Martin’s work as a student in Europe, he twice traveled to New Mexico to meet her. The first trip was unsuccessful, but he met her on the second try. The exhibition draws its title from a quote by Martin in The Untroubled Mind: “But the absolute trick in life is to find rest.”

Work in Progress Video Demonstration

Mr. Tabatabi provided this video excerpt to experience the work in progress.

tabatabai video thumbnail

Artworks in the Exhibition

Click each image to view larger.

Acrylic piece 2013-11

Acrylic piece 2013-11

Acrylic piece 2013-7

Acrylic piece 2013-7

Acrylic piece 2013-10

Acrylic piece 2013-10

Acrylic piece 2013-12

Acrylic piece 2013-12

Acrylic piece 2014-5

Acrylic piece 2014-5

Acrylic piece 2014-7

Acrylic piece 2014-7

Acrylic piece 2015-2

Acrylic piece 2015-2

Acrylic piece 2015-9

Acrylic piece 2015-9

Thread painting 2015-5

Thread painting 2015-5

Thread painting 2015-5 (detail)

Thread painting 2015-5 (detail)

Thread painting 2013-3

Thread painting 2013-3

Thread painting 2018-1

Thread painting 2018-1

Thread painting 2018-2

Thread painting 2018-2


Installation Photos

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty

Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest, installation views Lannan Foundation. Photo: Addison Doty