Paradise Lost, Rich Persian Landscapes and City Structures from Above, By: Georg Gerster


Fabulous photos by Georg Gerster collected in the book: “Paradise Lost, Persia from Above”

March 2009, New York, NY – For the first time ever, 29 breathtaking aerial photographs of Persia by award-winning Swiss photographer Georg Gerster, taken in the immediate years before the 1979 Iranian Revolution, will be on exhibition at the Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller Gallery (LTMH) from April 4th through April 21st, 2009. The works were recently compiled in the book, Paradise Lost: Persia From Above, edited by Maryam Sachs and published by Phaidon Press…In the late 1970’s Gerster was granted permission by Her Majesty Empress Farah Pahlavi to record the Persian topography. It was a rare opportunity, resulting in vivid photographs that capture the rich Persian landscapes and city structures that few people outside the country have been able to experience. Once the Revolution broke out, however, Gerster’s plan to produce a book of these photographs was brought to an immediate halt. Nearly thirty years after their execution, the photographs were rediscovered by Maryam Sachs, who, with her stunning vision, finally brought the book project to fruition. She calls the book her “gift to all Persians;” and indeed, the gallery is thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce these photographs to audiences of all generations who are both familiar and unfamiliar with the Persian landscape. “Gerster’s photographs are of enormous historical importance, as they are a magnificent testament to the extraordinary beauty of Persia,” says Leila Taghinia-Milani Heller, owner of the eponymous gallery…In the introduction to the book Gerster reveals the origin for the photographs: “Flying on business over Iran,” he writes, “I had been struck by the thought that Persia’s natural and cultural landscape was predestined to be viewed from the air.” Indeed Gerster, who is hailed as a pioneer in aerial photography, allows us birds-eye-views that reveal the magnificence of the country’s architectural feats and splendid countryside. Through the photographs, we are able to explore ancient citadels and architectural sites; some, like the historic Persepolis, built thousands of years ago. We are also given the opportunity to view some of Persia’s most magnificent mosques in all of their luminous beauty. While such works reveal the more documentary aspects of Gerster’s works, an undoubtedly artistic approach is present in his landscape views. The abstraction of these works obscures a precise identification and evokes a sense of mystery as to place and location. At the same time, Gerster still presents his audience with photographs that capture the stunning beauty of Persia’s landscapes, especially when seen from above…Georg Gerster’s career spans over 40 years of aerial photography above 111 countries and six continents. Born in Winterthur, Switzerland in 1928, Georg received his doctorate from Zurich University. Since 1956 he has been a freelance journalist, and has worked on a regular basis for the Neue Z�rcher Zeitung and the Washington-based National Geographic. He has undertaken extensive visits to every part of the world.


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