Themes of gender and social inequality are predominant in Ahmad Morshedloo’s work. In Untitled, he presents these with an introspective grace in an intensely detailed study of a woman reclining. The quiet simplicity of his subject becomes the focus of expansive meditation as his dense cross-hatching and delicately tangled gestures transform the surface into a microcosm of wonder, infusing his cold clammy palette with a sense of secluded energy. Extreme foreshortening is one of the most difficult technical skills in drawing and Morshedloo uses this forced perspective to create a hesitancy or confusion within this image, which initially appears alien and abstract. The black mass at the centre of the panel is her hair, which should always be kept covered; according to Iranian tradition it is a source of female power.

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