Hadi Tabatabai

San Francisco, California, USA

My artwork is a combination of drawing, painting and sculpture that describes a place that is as much an idea as a physical location. The compositions embody liminality; that is, they create a constant experience of sensations that exist at the limen, or edge of perception. To bring about this state, I have removed all possible distractions. Narrative and figuration, even figure and ground, have been excised from the delicate combinations of squares, rectangles, and floating lines.

I work with a variety of materials, such as slate, wood, thread and wax, in addition to paint, to produce a “painting” with a sculptural, three-dimensional quality. For the past 15 years, I have devoted my attention to a very tiny area—an area that comprises the physicality of a line and functions as the transitional space between two entities. I view the “line” as empty space without an agenda or allegiance; it is neither here nor there. I have found that by paying attention to this tiny, subtle, yet detailed space, one is forced to turn away from the outside world and focus inward on one’s own interior space.

As art historian, Peter Lodermeyer, described the work in a catalogue essay, “You have to look closely, as close as possible, then steadily until you can see the seeing itself. Watch yourself as you look in order to perceive.”

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