In "Argo," we see a mob of angry Iranians storming the embassy during the 1979 revolution, and in "Reading Lolita in Tehran," the protagonist returns to a repressive country in turmoil. These examples are just the tip of the iceberg with respect to depictions of Iran as a country intolerant of artistic expression and individual rights.
Yet the new exhibit at the Asia Society offers another Iran, one with a rich art-driven culture in the 20 years leading up to the Iranian Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. In September, New Yorkers will view the first major exhibit of Iranian modern art in the U.S. Titled, "Iran Modern," the exhibit will showcase 100 works from the 1950s-1970s in Tehran, exposing the flourishing art scene of the capital city.
"Iran Modern" is on view from at the Asia Society in New York from September 6, 2013 to January 5, 2014.
Ardeshir Mohassess Untitled, 1978 Ink on paper H. 17 x W. 12 1/12 in. (44.2 x 32.5 cm) Katayoun Beglari-Scarlet and Peter Scarlet Collection
Parviz Tanavoli Heech (Nothing), 1972 Bronze on wood base 22 1/4 x 12 x 8 inches (56.5 x 30.5 x 20.3 cm) base: 5 x 5 x 5 inches (12.7 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm) Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection Gift of Abby Weed Grey, G1975.54
Houshang Pezeshknia Khark, 1958 Watercolor on cardboard H. 20 1/6 x W. 27 9/16 in. (51 x 70 cm) Babak Pezeshknia Collection
Faramarz Pilaram Untitled, 1972 Oil on canvas H. 47 x W. 47 in. (119.4 x 119.4 cm) Houman M. Sarshar Collection, New York
Marcos Grigorian Untitled, n.d. Sand and enamel on canvas H. 30 x W. 25 in. (76.2 x 63.5 cm) Grey Art Gallery, New York University Art Collection Gift of Abby Weed Grey, G1975.570
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian Untitled, c. 1975–1976 Mirror, reverse-glass painting, plaster, and wood H. 31 1/2 x W. 27 1/2 in. (80 x 70 cm) Private Collection