Portraits: Reflections by Emerging Iranian Artists

Artists: Mohsen Ahmadvand, Samira Alikhanzadeh, Mojtaba Amini, Reza Azimian, Nasser Bakhshi, Dadbeh Bassir, Bahar Behbahani, Babak Bidarian, Majid Biglari, Hossein Edalatkhah, Sara Ghanbari, Dariush Gharahzad, Sepanta Ghassemkhani, Naghmeh Ghassemlou, Mohammad Hamzeh, Farsad Labbauf, Mehdi Mirbagheri, Alishia Morassaie, Ahmad Morshedloo, Amir Mousavi, Jason Noushin, Morteza Pourhosseini, Amirhossein Radaie, Leyli Rashidi, Arash Sedaghatkish, Jinoos Taghizadeh, Sadegh Tirafkan

To mark the five year anniversary of the opening of Iran Inside Out at the Chelsea Museum and the first anniversary of Iran Modern at Asia Society, this group show seeks to promote Iranian contemporary art by showcasing work by young Iranian artists who were born, raised, and educated in Iran. Portraits mirror the soul. Through them, we hope you will get closer to the world in which they live.

Despite the societal and political challenges of the past 30 years, which led the country into isolation, Iran has experienced an artistic revival that has defied all expectation. Perhaps as a reflection of this isolation, the work of most of the artists featured in this exhibition is still unknown in the United States. It is for this reason that we began this project with the hope of raising awareness within our US communities and to familiarize them with these bodies of work.

The multidisciplinary nature of the show, with its emphasis on various artistic styles and techniques, demonstrates the remarkable breadth of the Iranian artistic community. “These young artists despite all the limitation, boldly challenge the status quo and insist on their independence and capabilities as any contemporary human beings,” Nazila Noebashari (Aaran Gallery Owner, Tehran/Iran) states. The current generation of Iranian artists is not afraid of experimentation; they often test the limits of acceptability in their own land. The works in the show diligently create a dialogue between contemporary art on one hand and the rich cultural influence of Iran’s past on the other. 

Indicative of the tactful intelligence of this young generation, this exchange provides a departure from strictly western artistic styles. The emphasis on emerging Iranian Art does not aim to ghettoize the artists geographically or philosophically. Rather, by holding such a show in New York City—at the epicenter of the global contemporary art market—we hope to highlight the talent of these under-recognized artists and to celebrate their courage, stamina, and love of their craft.

We hope that this rich body of work will engage you, spark your curiosity, and invite you to navigate a new creative world. 


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