Master of Limited Colors

Manouchehr Niazi is an orderly hardworking artist with a deep, romantically humanistic imagination that brings order out of chaos when he interprets the beautiful landscapes of Iran. To look at a Niazi landscape is to surrender oneself totally to a world of fantasy. He paints the natural scene, not photographically, but as it would appear if nature were in the art business, painting in the style of “Romantic Realism”.

The artist said that he was interested primarily in “harmonies obtained by employing the infinite tones and variations of a limited number of colors”. These colors in a Niazi painting are embroider on the canvas, that is to say, the same color appears in an embroidery, and so all the others more or less, according to their importance; in this way the whole will form a harmony.

Niazi’s “embroideries” of subtle, closely related tones may baffle the art public, who has come to expect blatantly colored canvases, competing for attention on the crowded walls of the galleries. One cannot equate the landscape of Niazi with those of Constable, Claude or Ruisdael because unlike these giants, Niazi’s oil painting technique is closer to that of the water colorists. To an oil painting traditionalist this is a sacrilege. But standing before one of Niazi’s landscapes the viewer soon forgets that the artist may have committed an offense.
A considerable time has now passed since a comprehensive appreciation was made of the works of Manouchehr Niazi. This passage of time has perhaps made possible an analysis which is more balanced and quieter, free from passing influences of an importance only momentary. Today, gold, silver, oils, tempora, special glazes, rare carpets and an unusual sense of creativity are the ingredients of his new and dynamic approach to the art of collage. Each collage is treated as a separate problem, as indeed later each was subject to decide its own appropriate color, light, pattern and rhythm. Each composition is inspired by its appropriate movement: the grand slow tempo of the soaring image of EARLY PERIOD; the urgent and arrested rhythm of the INTEMEDIATE PERIOD; and above all the tremendous contained movement of his PRESENT PERIOD. Movement is an essential element of Niazi’s present period of collage but movement, color and rhythm are not the only vital element of his present day collages. There is the synthesis of a unique vision derived from deep emotions rooted in the mind of a man who is also a trained accomplished actor and opera singer, whose masterful draftsmanship enables him to work in various fields of the painter’s art. The timeless quality of his collage sets him apart from all others. (c.1980)

Dr. E. Harper Johnson / Artist, Historian and Critic



Manouchehr Niazi’s first language is painting. A professional career surpassing six decades spans over 170 important group exhibitions and 84 solo professional juried exhibitions in galleries and museums around the world. Paris, London, New York, California, Florida, Sidney, to name a few, have hosted some of his successful exhibitions. Niazi’s paintings are also included in the private collections of public figures and celebrities, galleries and museums around the world.

Niazi was born in 1936 in Tabriz, Iran. He started to learn painting from well known contemporary artists at age sixteen. After graduating from Kamalol-Molk art school he soon reached higher levels of mastery creating valuable pieces. His art was steadily exhibited in solo and group exhibitions to the interest of critics and collectors with extensive acquisitions by museums of contemporary art.

Niazi is considered one of the Synesthetic Masters. In youth he studied classical music and opera, going on to perform as a baritone in various productions under the supervision of Evelyn Baghcheban and Fakhereh Saba. In manifesting his feelings on canvas and in composition, his deeply ingrained connection to classical music has forever been a source of expression, particularly the works of Beethoven, Giuseppe Verdi, Franz Schubert, Peter Tchaikovsky, Johann Strauss II, Giacomo Puccini, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Mozart. The link between neuroscience and art is felt in the aesthetic experience that is a Niazi Masterpiece – his process a topic of study in the field of Cognitive Sciences.

The second phase of his career began with his trip to USA with group and solo exhibitions in top galleries including The Beverly Wilshire Gallery in Beverly Hills, California and The International Gallery Florida. During his twenty-three years in America he created significant works and held numerous exhibitions.

Throughout his professional life he has experimented with many styles from academic and classic styles to modern, until innovating his recognized signature styles fueled by a singular creativity. His works are predominately in oil and he is inspired by the problems and conflicts of the present age all over the world.

His inherent originality and creativity make his artworks unique and different. He believes that a masterpiece begins like an embryo in the mother’s womb, fertilized when the Mind and Heart of the artist make connection with each other, which is being birthed when the artist brings it on canvas. He always insists on creativity and originality of his artworks and he has repeatedly said:

"I love all my works and I will never sign a painting until it fully satisfies me."

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