Ali Akbar Safaian was born in 1947 in Sang-e Sar, a town in northwestern Iran on the slope of the Alborz mountains. 
As a teenager, inspired by pictures in his school and environment, he starts to stay awake at nights 
and to draw the shapes of his sleeping brothers and sisters. Accordingly, he decides to study Arts and
 enrolls at artschool Kamal ol-Molk, where he studies till 1970. His first soloexhibitions are shown 
in the Galeries Seyhoun and Solivan. To develop his style and expression, he travels to Afghanistan,
 India, Nepal, Italy and finally Paris, where he lives from 1979-1981 as an independent artist. He owes 
these trips an intensive insight to the Easts impersonal, vedantic culture and the Wests life-accented
 subjectivity. After the consolidation of the Islamic Republic he flees to Pegnitz (Germany), a town close
 to Bayreuth, where he would, in a calm and concentrated atmosphere, experience his most productive
 period of work. Today he lives and works in Berlin. 

periods / painting

The works produced in this early period, including the years after diploma, deal with the human and 
animal figure on the edge of dissolution. Concerning the artistitc method of this period Javad Mojabi
 wrote in „Ettealat“: „When designing his paintings Safaian starts from the angle of an
 Iranian miniature painter: he starts drawing the picture starting from a perspective without conceiving
 a plan or intention. He is driven by the inspiration of colors and lines.“ A potentially infinte process – 
thus he wrote further: „The painting is finished without the cubic spaces being completed.“ 
During the middle period, the spaces of his works are populated with human, natural and mechanical 
elements. One of the most important works of this period is War and Peace, in which the 
phantastic decomposition of space does not stand anymore for itself, but for the condition of the world. 
With the following mixed-media series he breaks with figuration and devotes himself to structures.  
Layers overlap layers like knotted roots: the paintings don´t communicate anymore something directly, but 
simply are.  



Inheritance, Earth Inheritance / relief 

Since 2004 Ali Akbar Safaian has focused on large-scale relief works. Herefrom two series emerged: 

Earth Inheritance and Inheritance. The former deals with organic structures, which are once consciously
 shaped, once seem to be unmade, shapeless, formless, speechless like primary matter. Grey, brown, 
green colours reflect soil, minerals, subteresstrial life. The relief-surface is shaped in such a manner that 
it gives the recipient the impression of layers of materials below the ground or of mystically meditative soil.
 The concretism of this series is also clearly expressed in the next: Inheritance. Here the reliefs are 
monochromous. Submerged into one colour each shape is equal to another, nothing is accentuated,
 everything is one. Thus the artist drew back himself, trying not to mark the work with indices of personal
 handwriting in composition and shape, but to create a piece of matter, something that remains, when one
 takes the growing, moved and driving life away from the world. Asked what drives him towards art, the artis
t answered:

„To me art is an attempt to lay existence open.“ 



selected exhibitons and prizes

2016            "ICONS 2003" Galerie Mommsenstrasse, Berlin

2016            KunstbüroBerlin (with Kurt Scharf)

2014            Atelier Sibylle Wagner, Berlin

2009            Cultural Award of the city Bayreuth, Germany

2007            "Research Exhibition on Iranian Contemporary Arts/1960-70s"
                    Saba Cultural and Artistic Museum - Teheran, Iran

1999            Kunsthaus Nuremberg, Germany 

1996            The 9th International Exhibition of Enamelling Art in Tokyo, Japan

1994            AAI-Gallery – Vienna, Austria


1993            British American Tobacco Casino Gallery – Germany


1992            The Boston Consulting Group – Munich, Germany


1992            Golden Palette – Art Award of the Kunstmarkt-magazine 


1991            prize with realisation in a competition by the University of Wuerzburg, Germany


1991            Gallery Eurocadre St-Junien – Limoges, France


1991            Gallery Les Carmes – Langon, France


1991            Gallery Francis Layoute – Limoges, France 


1990            Steingräber und Söhne – Bayreuth, Germany


1988            Gallery La Palette D´Ór – Rouen, France


1986            Fahangsarai Niawaran „In Memory of Mohammadi“ – Teheran, Iran


1985            Fahangsarai Niawaran „In Memory of Fanizadeh“ – Teheran, Iran


1978            Entesharati Agha – Teheran, Iran


1978            Gallery Shiekh „Five Modern Artist“ – Teheran, Iran


1977            Gallery Shiekh – Teheran, Iran


1975            Gallery Ghandriz – Teheran, Iran


1975            Gallery Ghandriz – Teheran, Iran


1975            Gallery Mehr Shah – Teheran, Iran


1974            Gallery Takht Jamshid „Surrealist Artists“ – Teheran, Iran


1974            Gallery Khaneh Aftab „Painting and Sculpting“ – Teheran, Iran


1974            Gallery Seyhoun „Modern Art“ – Teheran, Iran


1974            International Art Exhibtion of Unesco-members – Cannes, France


1974            Gallery Takht Jamshid – Teheran, Iran


1974            Gallery Seyhoun – Teheran, Iran


1974            An aspect of Iranian Contemporary Art
                   sponsored by Seyhoun Gallery and in cooperation with Galerry Ghandriz – Teheran, Iran


1974            Asian Art on the occasion of the 7th Asian Games – Teheran, Iran


1973            Seyhoun Gallery – Teheran, Iran


1972            Gallery Solivan –  Teheran, Iran


1972            Gallery Mess – Teheran, Iran


1972            Gallery Khaneh Aftab – Teheran, Iran


1971            Gallery Khaneh Aftab – Teheran, Iran


1969            Archaeological Museum of Iran – Teheran, Iran