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Yari Ostovany’s work calls to mind painters as divergent as Rothko and Turner. His inspirations are similarly, seemingly unrelated: The 12th century Sufi poet Attar of Nishapur and modern composers such as Gustav Mahler and Keith Jarrett. The confluence of these influences are abstract paintings brooding in atmospheric passion, yet electric and dynamic in their composition, texture, and palette.

“It’s as if Ostovany, in a virtual mind-meld with Turner and Rothko, captured in oil on canvas the foreboding yet beguiling Seven Valleys from Attar’s poem “Conference of the Birds” or the thrill of being at the premier of a Gustav Mahler symphony.”

Resurrection (for Gustav Mahler), 102 x 229cm, OIl on Canvas

Yari Ostovany’s work, recently on exhibit at Radian in a solo show, “Towards the Light,” is impressive in its initial visual impact and in its staying power: come back to it again and again, and there is always more to experience – to see, to feel, to consider.

The compositions are clearly not random, but wrought in a stream of consciousness where one gesture follows in a distant, dreamlike logic on another; They are landscapes; They are dreamscapes; Scenes from a foreign shoreline, or a flight through the clouds on a distant planet.

The texture is infinitely engaging, layer upon layer added and removed until the effect of atmosphere, or decomposition, or the presence of an otherworldly being is rendered on and in the canvas. The depth experienced by the viewer is exceptional.

Finally, although most immediate among the impacts of Ostovany’s work, is the exquisite color. It could be soft and warm in one piece, shifting to a shocking splash of molten lava in the next, and settling into a cool, clear body of sparkling liquid in the another.

Simorgh Descending, 135x119cm, Oil on Canvas

Walking into the rooms at Radian filled with Ostovany’s canvases is to walk into a visual library of emotion. Cool. Asleep. Ablaze. Resigned. Engaged. Fervent. Detached.

Surrender yourself to volumes, editions, and tomes of Yari Ostovany’s world.