Parviz Tanavoli (Biographical details)

Parviz Tanavoli (sculptor/medallist; Iranian; Male; 1937)

Also known as

Tanavoli, Parviz


Artist and sculptor, born Tehran, Iran, 1937. Often described as the pioneer of modern sculpture in Iran, as well as a collector, teacher, scholar and author. Graduated from Tehran’s High School of Fine Arts (1956), then travelled to Italy, where he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Carrara (1957). He then attended Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan (1958–60) on a scholarship, and worked under the Italian sculptor Marino Marini. Taught at the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design, USA (1961–63), and returned to Iran to become Head of Sculpture at Tehran University (1964–1979). He headed many art initiatives, including the ‘Atelier Kaboud’ inTehran (1960) and a touring exhibition of Iranian artists in the USA, starting in Minnesota (1961). Founded the Tehran Rug Society (1973) and organized a number of exhibitions of tribal rugs from Iran. A collector of Iranian locks and Islamic metalwork, exhibited and published in 1976 and 2000 respectively. Frequent exhibitions in Iran, Europe and the USA, including a retrospective at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (2003) and at the Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver (2006). Based in Tehran and Vancouver.


Porter, V, 'Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East', BMP, 2006 (p. 141); Porter, V, 'Word into Art: Artists of the Modern Middle East (Dubai 2008)', BMP, 2008 (p. 155).