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Hadi Tabatabai: To Find Rest


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, 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.”