Asia Society Museum presents Iran Modern, the first major international loan exhibition of Iranian modern art created from the 1950s to 1970s.
Showcasing more than 100 works by 26 artists, the exhibition seeks to illuminate Iran’s little known pre-Islamic Revolution era when Tehran was a cosmopolitan art center, artists were engaged with the world through their participation in the Venice Biennale and other international art festivals, and their work was collected by institutions inside and outside of Iran. The paintings, sculpture, works on paper and photography included in the exhibition are organized thematically to map the genesis of Iranian modernism and argues that the development of modernist art is inherently more globally interconnected than has been previously acknowledged.
The exhibition comprises loans from public and private collections from the United States and eight countries in Europe and the Middle East. These rich holdings illustrate the extent to which collectors outside of Iran were engaged with the work of Iranian artists during this period. Lending institutions include The Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection, JPMorgan Chase Art Collection, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Tate, London.
The exhibition comprises works by the following artists: Ahmad Aali, Abbas, Massoud Arabshahi, Siah Armajani, Mohammad Ehsai, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Mansour Ghandriz, Marcos Grigorian, Ghasem Hajizadeh, Nahid Hagigat, Bahman Jalali, Rana Javadi, Reza Mafi, Leyly Matine-Daftary, Ardeshir Mohassess, Bahman Mohassess, Nicky Nodjoumi, Houshang Pezeshknia, Faramarz Pilaram, Behjat Sadr, Abolghassem Saidi, Sohrab Sepehri, Parviz Tanavoli, Mohsen Vaziri-Moqaddam, Manoucher Yektai, and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi.
Iran Modern is curated by independent scholars Fereshteh Daftari and Layla S. Diba. Daftari was a curator with The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York from 1988 to 2009 and curated Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking (2006) at MoMA, among others.
A catalogue accompanies the exhibition with essays by leading scholars of Iranian art, modern art and cultural criticism. The 256-page book is published by Asia Society Museum and distributed by Yale University Press, New Haven and London.
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