Iranian voices

recent acquisitions of works on paper

26 November 2016 –
21 May 2017

Recommend this exhibition

Bahman Mohassess (1931–2010). Untitled. Lithograph, 1971. Reproduced by permission of the Estate of the artist.

A display of works by Iranian artists Bahman Mohassess, Parviz Tanavoli, Mitra Tabrizian, Parastou Forouhar, Ahmad Aali, Nahid Hagigat, Mohsen Ahmadvand, Shahpour Pouyan, Afsoon, Fereydoun Ave, Ali Akbar Sadeghi, Shideh Tami, Bahman Jalali, Ali Banisadr, Tarlan Rafiee & Yashar Samimi Mofakham.

The modern and contemporary art of Iran tells a multiplicity of stories. Made by Iranian artists of different generations, the works in this display include a variety of media from collage to artist books and photography. The narratives highlight an engagement with Iranian history from the legendary tales of the Shahnameh or Book of Kings (an epic in verse written by the Persian poet Ferdowsi in about AD 1010) to insights into the politics of recent decades. Between them, they present a series of vivid snapshots of the art and preoccupations of some of Iran’s most significant artists.

These acquisitions have been possible thanks to the British Museum Patrons’ group CaMMEA (Contemporary and Modern Middle East Art), Maryam and Edward Eisler and a number of other generous donors.

Thanks to the support of the Contemporary and Modern Middle Eastern Art acquisitions group (CaMMEA) and other generous donors the Museum now has a growing collection of over 200 established and emerging artists from across the region, either living in the countries of their birth or in diaspora.

Further reading

Amirsadeghi, H (ed.), Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art (London, 2009)

Daftari, F, and L. S. Diba (eds.), Iran Modern (New York, 2013)

Demos, T, This is That Place (London, 2008)

Eigner, S, Art of the Middle East: Modern and Contemporary Art of the Arab World and Iran (London, 2015)

Grigor, T, Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio (London, 2014)

Keshmirshekan, H, Contemporary Iranian Art: New Perspectives (London, 2013)

Balaghi, S. and L. Fischman (eds), Parviz Tanavoli (Wellesley 2015)

Crispolti, Enrico and A.V. Serov (eds), Bahman Mohassess (Rome 2007)

Dagen, P., Ali Banisadr: In Media Res (Paris 2015)

Unedited History (1960-2014) Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris (Paris 2014)

Weiss, M (ed) Light from the Middle East: New Photography (London 2012)