The dialectic of reality and Utopia is manifested in the paintings by Asgar/Gabriel. It’s the conjunction of the two ideas that creates a form of meta-reality which comes close to ours, and moreover, maintains a socio-critical stance also by painterly means. Therein, the gender-specific power relations, which have dominated hundreds of years of art history, are a major issue. Painting, on the analogy of the contentual dimension, is the intelligent sampling of different styles that change in the eye of the beholder to generate something that has been never seen before. Asgar and Gabriel stepped up to renew painting radically – without denying its past. They make use of it to take a big step forward. Thinking ahead of further societal developments – which has to be taken on globally nowadays – has always been an issue in art and ever since, art has been at least one step ahead of reality. In this sense, an update to the genre has been overdue for a long time.
Since the formation of the duo in 2005, Asgar/Gabriel’s productions have been widely shown in the United States as well as in Europe. Their work received significant notice with the exhibition The Promise of Loss (curated by Shaheen Merali) shown in Vienna (2009) and in New York (2010). In 2011 the Mannheimer Kunstverein (Mannheim, Germany) devoted an important exhibition to them, followed by an exhibition at Kunsthallen Brandts, Denmark.
Daryoush Asgar was born in Tehran in 1975. Ten years later, the Iran/Iraq war forced him to leave his homeland. Now living in Austria since 1985, he graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in 2000.
Elisabeth Gabriel was born in Vienna in 1974. She graduated in philosophy at the University of Vienna in 2000.
They are working together since 2005.