Synopses & Reviews
In the first comprehensive look at Iranian art and visual culture since the 1979 revolution, Talinn Grigor investigates the official art sponsored by the Islamic Republic, the culture of avant-garde art created in the studio and its display in galleries and museums, and the art of the Iranian diaspora within Western art scenes. Divided into three partsand#151;street, studio, and exileand#151;the book argues that these different areas of artistic production cannot be understood independently, revealing how this art offers a mirror of the sociopolitical turmoil that has marked Iranand#8217;s recent history.
Exploring the world of galleries, museums, curators, and art critics, Grigor moves between subversive and daring art produced in private to propaganda art, martyrdom paraphernalia, and museum interiors. She examines the cross-pollination of kitsch and avant-garde, the art market, state censorship, the public-private domain, the political implications of art, and artistic identity in exile. Providing an astute analysis of the workings of artistic production in relation to the institutions of power in the Islamic Republic, this beautifully illustrated book is essential reading for anyone interested in Iranian history and contemporary art.
andldquo;Dense with history and politics and provides an important window into a culture that many find inscrutable. However, instead of negatively affecting the narrative, such complications make the portrayal of Iranandrsquo;s contemporary art scene more fascinating. . . . A valuable addition.andrdquo;and#160;
andldquo;Filled with beautiful visual imagery and penned in readable prose, Grigorandrsquo;s history illuminates Iranandrsquo;s visual culture with a suitably rich complexity.andrdquo;and#160;
andldquo;This book is a brave venture, a pioneering act of service to a broad readership. Iran counts as among the most dynamic and charismatic phenomena in the field of contemporary art, and to learn about it one has had to rely largely on vacuous marketing ploys of this lucrative body of artistic material. Grigorandrsquo;s painstaking research for this book, her rich collection of visual and discursive data, her insights, and her very readable prose contribute not only to our understanding of contemporary Iran but also to the broader study of contemporary global arts into which Iran should and does fit firmly. In many ways, this book will be a benchmark for all future studies on contemporary Iranian arts.andrdquo;and#160;
andldquo;Grigorandrsquo;s Contemporary Iranian Art is a rigorous and authoritative statement about art that will be essential to anyone interested in Iranian culture and history. It also provides much needed education for an art audience hungry for a scholarly, detailed, and historically minded treatment of the Iranian contemporary art world.andrdquo; and#160;
andldquo;Richly illustrated and compellingly argued,andnbsp;Contemporary Iranian Art
andnbsp;is a welcome addition to an emerging scholarly literature on contemporary art in non-Western and postcolonial societies. andnbsp;It will be of interest to students and scholars of modern and contemporary art and architecture, visual culture, Middle Eastern and Asian studies, and globalization, as well as to general readers and an art world audience of curators, critics, and artists. . . . Highly recommendedandrdquo;
Reza Abedini's presentation about contemporary Persian typography at the AGI conference in Helsinki in 2003 made clear to those in attendance that the subject merited a book. Iran underwent many changes in the wake of the 1979 Revolution. The sources of creative influence in Iran expanded as a result of the uprising, and the passing of time has incorporated those changes into the country's cultural fabric in ways that may surprise most Westerners.
This publication shows a new side of Iran, one we do not often read about in newspapers.
The art world has recently witnessed a surge of interest in Iranian art, but what is the background to Iranian contemporary art and Iranand#8217;s vibrant art scene? This is the first comprehensive book on Iranian art and visual culture since the 1979 revolution. Divided into three partsand#151;street, studio and exileand#151;it covers official art sponsored by the Islamic Republic, the culture of avant-garde art created in the studio and its display in galleries and museums, and the art of the Iranian diaspora within the Western art scene.
Grigor argues that these different areas of artistic production cannot be fully understood independently for it is not despite censorship and exile, as many have argued, that we are witnessing a boom in Iranian art today, but because of them. Moving between subversive and daring art produced in private to propaganda art made in the public view, the book offers an artistic mirror of the socio-political turmoil that has marked Iranand#8217;s recent history.
About the Author
Reza Abedini is a world renowned Iranian designer and a professor of graphic design and visual culture at Tehran University. Abedini graduated in graphic design from the school of Fine Arts, 1985 and got his BA in Painting from Tehran Art University in 1992. He is mainly famous for his unique style of working with typography and Arabic letters. Hans Wolbers (1965) is founder and creative director at Lava Graphic Design and a member of AGI at Alliance Graphique Internationale. He graduated from the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Utrecht, the Netherlands.
Table of Contents
1. The Street
2. The Studio
3. The Exile