Historic House in Tehran Converted into Calligraphy Museum

The previous home of a former senator in Iran has been converted into a museum, exhibiting a number of works of calligraphy by a variety of Iranian artists. In his remarks at the opening ceremony, the director of the museum highlighted the importance of the art of calligraphy, saying that, “Calligraphy has deep connections with morality spirituality and mysticism.” The majority of the pieces come from the collection of Abdollah Foradi, who was himself a calligraphy master. The museum plans to gather more works for its collection, hopefully from contemporary artists as well. Read more

New Exhibition of Contemporary Iranian Art in New York

A new exhibition of contemporary Iranian art in New York has recently opened at Susan Eley Fine Art in New York. Entitled “Beyond the Ban: Contemporary Iranian Art,” the exhibition includes pieces by several Iranian artists currently living in the US, such as Shirin Neshat, Nicky Nodjoumi, and Shoja Azari. A multimedia performance of photography, painting and video, the show comes in light of a precarious political situation for immigrants in the US. The exhibition thereby offers a much-needed political, social and cultural commentary on the current state of affairs while also showcasing the immense contributions of Iranian art in the world of contemporary art at large. Read more

New Book on Mohammed Afkhami’s Iranian Contemporary Art Collection

Honar (meaning ‘art’ in Farsi) is a recently released book featuring 250 works from the collection of the Middle Eastern financier Mohammed Afkhami. Afkhami has been collecting art since 2004, amassing a collection of around 400 contemporary artworks from artists including Shirin Neshat, Shiva Ahmadi, and Mohammad Ehsai. Though Afkhami collects enough pieces to open his own museum, he prefers to simply loan his works to existing institutions for a broader reach. Some of his pieces now comprise the exhibition “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet” at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, which may be traveling to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston later this year. Read more

Artists offer alternative views of Iranian culture in group exhibition

A recent group exhibition of contemporary Iranian art is making a splash at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto, Canada. Featuring politically and socially charged photography, painting, video, and other media, “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians” is an exhibition that captures the texture and complexity of the current situation in Iran, both exposing and reflecting upon it.

Be sure to follow this exhibition, which is supposed to be traveling to a key US art institution this summer. Read more

Abbas Kiarostami – A Celebrated Short Life

Disbelief, ahh, and deep sorrow are some of the reactions to the unexpected death of this master of cinema– simple, real, and impactful. A cry for finding the truth about his medical treatment, which led to his untimely death, is heard all over the world…. but regretfully it cannot bring him back.

“Following the Iranian revolution in 1979, the country’s vibrant and original cinema took its place on the world stage. Among the many superb film directors who contributed to Iran’s new wave, the most celebrated was Abbas Kiarostami… read more” — courtesy of Guardian Newspaper

MoCP Chicago features Iran as its focal point

The Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago is hosting two photography exhibitions featuring Iran as its focal point. “Burnt Generation: Contemporary Iranian Photography” and “Midwest Photographers Project: Hossein Fatemi” show the complexities of Iran and its people using photography as its medium.
Hossein Fatemi aims to dispel the harmful stereotypes of Iran and its people by documenting and showcasing their lives.

The exhibition runs until July 10th. If you are in the area, it is definitely worth a look. The exhibition will have a series of events to accompany it like video playlists and artist talks. Check out the calendars here and here.

Sadegh Barirani: a profile

Sadegh Barirani has been a pioneer in Iranian contemporary art and graphic design. He has designed posters for the Tehran Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and for the Roudaki Hall Opera House. Barirani finds inspiration in poetry and various contemporary techniques.
The Peninsula Press interviews Mr. Barirani on the video below.

Artist’s protests at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art keeps their voice heard

The art community in Tehran is strong, united and passionate. After announcing the intent to transfer the management of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art to a private Rudaki Foundation, hundreds of artists and art administrators held a massive protests in front of the museum last Saturday. Thanks to their efforts, the decision was discarded. Video in Farsi is courtesy of Voice of America News.

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Tehran’s colorful Nowruz celebration!

Tehran is a vibrant city full of life, culture, music and art. Every street corner grants the opportunity to explore what the city has to offer. This year’s Nowruz, or Persian New Year, was quite a celebration! The city of Tehran decorated itself with new artwork and installations.

Take a glimpse into the colorful Nowruz celebration! Picture credit to Real Iran.