The Poetics of Memory – Yari Ostovany

Jeremy Morgan

Fragments of Poetry and Silence 25 for Rilke oil on canvas 43 x 42 5 109 x 108 cm 2014
Fragments of Poetry and Silence 25 for Rilke oil on canvas 43 x 42 5 109 x 108 cm 2014

Painting and at times music meet in the wordless.

In the work of Yari Ostovany it may be considered as a reality. His work reflects an ongoing research through pure action. That action finds valency between intellect and intuition, each work functional as a psychic archiving, a material realization that is born of both reflection and enactment. The work is redolent with a sense of possibility. Each committed artist one assumes is committed to the recognition that every creative act is bound to the notion of communication indeed the mystical communication of experience. This may assume many guises (political, social, psychological and spiritual). In the work of Ostovany one may encounter a fusion of such realities. The artist in these instances requires simply that one is encouraged to contemplate. These works are generated by particular processes on the one hand is the concept of spontaneity on the other is the act of improvisation. These works are indicative of a process of enquiry, they are then a balance between traditions and the discovered. But beyond the act of painting itself is the weight of visual traditions. As an Iranian painter transposed to the west the artist has negotiated the shifting terrain that is the visual reality of the contemporary world. Alert to the philosophic traditions of both the west and non west, equally conversant with philo-spiritual traditions relating to geographic realities he has embraced the plurality without subjecting himself to a dominant focus.

In that sense he reflects the complexity of forces capable of informing consciousness. From that state he engages both feeling and intellect as a dynamic that informs his process. Ostovany has a deep appreciation of musical traditions both from his own cultural tradition and equally that of the west, music from Persia and from the west (Beethoven to Arvo Pärt) he resonates with the implication of the infusion of the divine as manifest in such diverse methods. The awareness is palpable in the artists approach. Color, texture and most significantly luminosity are deeply significant to the process of realization.

Each work is a particular investigation, each work a means of archiving a state of being. The works then are a testament but never absolute declaration it is the incremental development that is significant. Ostovany has developed a method that exemplifies the unique visual traditions of the art of painting that is the beautiful fusion of psyche and techne, namely chemistry, physics, and consciousness. He invites the viewer to engage, that is to participate in the creative moment. One of paintings gift is to elicit connection. The contemporary is bound through the agency of art to the concept of creating spectacle within which the seer is set apart , but painting too can encourage participation, the viewer is required to bring something to the meeting. Ostovany urges the second way.

This artist is not bound to representation but as American ‘light and space’ artist Robert Irwin suggests more ” the first order of presence ” these works are the fruition of deep thought and the refinement of technique, that technique is in the service of a distinct strategy, to create a meeting between one consciousness and another as the artist communicates with rather than to. Art either defines or challenges possibilities, affirms or questions these works are of the latter order. There are multiple sources reflected within theses works, poetic musical and cinematic, the artist arrests in time the ineffable and spatially orchestrates to bring one back to that first order of presence that is in essence, non verbal.

San Francisco, 2015

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