In the exhibition announcement for Absent Arrival, Gallery Paule Anglim states, “the artist’s newest body of work brings together divergent places and times, in a hypothetical confluence of ancient traditions and the imagined future. Inspired by the delicacy and intricacy found in Persian manuscript illuminations and Islamic architecture, Ebtekar employs the image and metaphor of the the portal, the gateway into the next, or the future. The works are filtered and serene, some with all color removed, resulting in a purified air of minimal forms.
In quiet drawings on embossed paper, he overlays figures from the past with contemporary silhouettes, creating a tracery of layers, a matrix through which one might open onto a new reality. In another series, using found works on paper from illustrated science fiction books, posters, and poetry volumes, he isolates arches, windows and views of the cosmos, suggesting a common meditative vision with application to both ancient tradition (and spirituality) and to imaginings of the future.
Ebtekar explains: ‘Whether in architecture or in illuminations the arch of a doorway spans time and history. Sufis believed existence is of two natures, the earthly and the divine. And the transition between these two states was represented by an arch…”