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Artist Review: ELHAM ETEMADI

/People & Artist/
by Fabien BEUCHET

VIEW 150



Prose & Poetry by Fabien BEUCHET, Pictures courtesy of  Elham ETEMADI

Portrait of the Artist Elham Etemadi

I don’t want to be related to a school,

even if I am close to the surrealist movement as my work leaves a large part to

my imagination and dreams. These are really important things to me.

My works are characterized by an oneiric chromaticity.

There are a lot of forms which are linked together by motifs destined to

give to the whole a certain unity.

This technique gives birth to mysterious artworks.

The way I begin to paint is nearly totally random, this is the reason why my paintings

are close to the surrealist view.

I compose with wide lyrical taches destined to be interpreted figuratively.

I go into a space which seems to be limitless.

– Elham ETEMADI –

Born in 1983 in Shiraz, Iran, Elham Etemadi was already an accomplished artist before coming to France in 2010.

Having earned a Titular Mention from the Association of Drawers of Iran

– an eminently artistic country and civilization for many thousand years –

she then became valedictorian in 2007 before her Master Degree (+6) in Painting at the University of Art of Tehran.

Ambitious, Elham Etemadi arrived in France only a year after having earned her first Master Degree in Iran, to earn, in 2012, her second Master Degree, in Visual Arts at the University of Strasbourg, France.

But, Talented, she has not just earned two Master Degrees in two different countries, two different civilizations, as she is Doctor in Arts since 2018, having had a huge success at the University of Strasbourg, France, with her thesis L’Irruption du jeu dans l’art visuel contemporain (The Irruption of the Play in Contemporary Visual Art).

The play, the game, only one word in French: le jeua word characterizing Elham Etemadi’s Art since the first time I met it.

Grand Crab, acrylic on canvas, 69.7 x 81.9 x 2 in, / 177 x 208 x 5 cm, 2019

Animals, toys, architectural elements stand alongside humans on the stage of the canvas.

They run it, will reappear as if the space provided them an infinite freedom.

I had the honor to meet both the Artist and her creations made of freedom just a few days after she arrived in France, in 2009. She came with drawings and paintings from which emanated a very accomplished serene strength, a solemn fuel, a personal way to unite colors via their differences, a unique way to reveal both the full & the void via her never-ending paths in perpetual evolution.

Painting, drawing, with thin lines, flat tints, and even writings turning into discreet meaningful elements; all melting, creating, fusing with animals and silhouettes which are all familiar and mysterious at the same time…

The declaration of the immutable perpetual motionthis is the basis of the alchemy Elham Etemadi offers us.

See with Heart, acrylic on canvas, 21.7 x 18.1 x 1 in / 55.2 x 46 x 2.5 cm, 2019

A magical world of a thousand colours,
making me wonder about my influences
and my choices.

Fisherman, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 74.8 x 63 x 1.7 in / 190 x 160 x 4.3 cm, 2019

Yes, an alchemy, easily identifiable as "an Etemadi",
a never-ending way to sensitivity, to thoughts, to dream, to pragmatism, to the fusion conscious-unconscious.

The reason why this Artist has so much success from The Emirates, Iran to Western Europe also lies in the fact she delivers us all a clear question:
the evaporation of the break "question-answer" through its sublimation:
the assertive open ways.

Yes, Elham Etemadi’s tour de force is to give us all an existential experience through the pure fact to enjoy painting, to give the world paintings and drawings at the same time, assertions and assertive open questions.

Yes, this Artist enjoys. By painting, drawing her-self and the world, she invites us to find our path within hers, to weave infinite connections, to ask ourselves how would we paint, how do we perceive, see, live, Create daily exceptional events.

Conversation, drawing, gouache, pastel and watercolor on cardboard, 10.2 x 14.2 x 0.4 in / 25.9 x 36 x 1 cm, 2018

Silent conversations, acrylic on canvas, 27.6 x 19.7 x 1 in / 70 x 50 x 2.5 cm, 2018

I always need to transform mental fantasies into visual imaginations [and]
I’ve always tried to keep the Eastern and Iranian notions alive.
My paintings evoke dreams, a magical world of a thousand colours,
making me wonder about my influences and my choices.

Exemplifying how daily facts can be exceptional, Elham Etemadi (re)connects us with the Present. As the Present is a legacy for the Future.
Bold and subtle, Elham Etemadi’s Art is also a celebration of colors.
So many colors, following and/or leading (to) so many paths, leading to a lead figure, a lead vocal in dialogue with a window, a cat, a child,
a couple, themselves connected with another revealed rhizome, and so on …

How are her artworks so clear while containing so many elements?
Because she is an Artist, with a capital A ; A standing for Arborescence.

Why does her Art have such a success in several civilizations?
Because of her high ability of appropriation too. Her artworks show how somebody born somewhere can be an example of cultures’ fusion,
a human celebration revealing inner elements of the fusion, the fusion itself and the future of the fusion.

A celebration of what is Art inviting other forms of Art to take part in the fusion too …

So impregnating are the artefacts of the affect

That within the present they inject

Sometimes the diktat of the time’s fracture,

Sometimes the predicate of the beautiful facture

Of the eternal Instant.


Who turns the ditches into knolls

Engraves the dimples of the wise, of the child,

As on the obverse as the reverse of these skies

Which at all ages at all Times

Enthuse so much…

So that we let go…



Present of passages

Landscape of presences,

Each of our stories

Suffers from this asthma, attic of the be-ing,

Which makes up the existence as a sustenance…

And this is when, all of a sudden, lantern

Postern lighthouse the artist offers us

A mirror, threshold from the pond to the being.



Collection of mirrors, of thresholds

Of peaks, Elham Etemadi expounds,

Proposes the present …

As daily as exceptional,

As personal

As universal that it is.


Expanding miniatures and

Expressive embroideries

Of an ever evolving meridian,

Elham Etemadi signifies the present

As it signs us, engraves us :

From the mists of time … to the Instant’s skies.



Elham Etemadi the truth

Of existence, of life, exemplifies

According to the principle of reciprocity

Leading us to pass daily from noise

To sonority ;

From scream to vocalise,

From the fruit still hanging

To its dispersion full of fertility.

Playing … is living the key-instant,

Is at each instant inviting …

Us to let go

Us to weave detached links

More than ever having a firm grip on reality,

For it is the aesthetics that is shared by all humanity.


Letting go is in essence

Giving all the room to the presence …

So the fact that you find

To place yourselves, to sign yourselves

Within so many perspectives

Colours and lines

Shall signify that you too

Setār and cello

Will have known to make agree.


Future of Legacies & Legacy of the Future,

Occidentiran, Iranoccident.



Springing from a being in our time,

The keys of a spontaneous ground whose colours

Perspectives and lines are reinventing themselves ;

Spacings inviting us to also

Reinvent ourselves

As the march of our present goes by.



Fertile loams residing as within the yesteryear as within the here,

So it is when

The starlings are brushing the sky

That we Feel, betyls, the Present.



67 verse poem accompanying in situ the Artists’ artworks during the exhibition

Jeux de Chimères (Plays of Chimeras),

9th January– 3rd February 2017

Gallery of Arts, Palace of Europe, Strasbourg, France


(Original French version available on the author’s website :

The Artist Elham Etemadi in her studio

Portrait of the Artist Elham Etemadi


For Art History

was always born in Present times

for the sake of the Future


All images/words © the artist(s) and organization(s)


– ELHAM ETEMADI’s Highlights –

(not exhaustive)

– Elham Etemadi –

Solo exhibition, Bertrand-Hassoun Gallery, Besançon, France, April 2019


– PhD in Fine Arts –

University of Strasbourg, France, 2018

Thesis : The Irruption of the Play in Contemporary Visual Art


– BW Collection –

Collective exhibition, BW Gallery, Strasbourg, France, December 2018


– ST’ART Strasbourg –

Solo exhibition, BW Gallery, Strasbourg, France, November 2017


– Elham Etemadi –

Solo exhibition, Bertrand-Hassoun Gallery, Besançon, France, October 2017


– Jeux de Chimères (Plays of Chimeras) –

Solo exhibition, Gallery of Arts, Palace of Europe, Strasbourg, France, January 2017


– Young Artist Initiative –

EMERGEAST Gallery & Vida Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates,

Collective exhibition, November 2016


– Regards au féminin (Feminine looks) –

Kunsthalle, Offenburg, Germany, collective exhibition, June 2016


– Transgression –

Jean Greset Gallery, Besançon, France, collective exhibition, April 2016


–"Like" Pop Up Exhibition by EMERGEAST –

Artspace Gallery, London, UK

Collective exhibition, September 2015


– Who is she? –

Solo exhibition, Omnibus Gallery, Besançon, France, January 2015


– Elham Etemadi –

Solo exhibition, Vesal Gallery, Shiraz, Iran, July 2011


– Elham Etemadi –

Solo exhibition, House of the Artists, Tehran, Iran, August 2009


– Elham Etemadi –

Solo exhibition, Haft Samar Gallery, Tehran, Iran, June 2009

Prose, poetry, translation & adaptations © Fabien Beuchet

Pictures © Elham Etemadi

Elham Etemadi’s website :

Fabien Beuchet’s website :