Bahman Mohassess, Untitiled, 1967.

Bahman Mohassess, Untitled, 1967
Oil, Private Collection of Houman M. Sarshar

Opening Reception, Thursday, January 25, 7-9pm. On display until April 9th.

Griffin Art Projects is honoured to present Modernism in Iran: 1958-1978, curated by Pantea Haghighi and drawn from private collections across the continent. With significant works from influential artists of this period, this exhibition brings a contemporary lens to an important period of experimentation and innovation.

Modernism in Iran: 1958–1978 features works by Mohammad Ehsai, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Mansour Ghandriz, Farideh Lashai, Sirak Melkonian, Bahman Mohasses, Faramarz Pilaram, Behjat Sadr, Parviz Tanavoli, Mohsen Vaziri-Moghaddam, and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, who played pivotal roles in defining and establishing Iranian aesthetics during the cultural renaissance of the latter twentieth century. Their work exemplifies this important period in Iran’s history, signaling the beginning of a widespread adoption of diverse approaches to defining contemporary Iranian identity.

Iranian cultural practices underwent a transformation during this period, which resulted in a bifurcation of art production expressing a national artistic identity on the one hand, and one heavily influenced by “Westernization” on the other. Artists reconceived of folk culture and Persian traditional motifs amidst increasing global consciousness and technological development, forging a link between heritage and progress. This is exemplified by a neo-traditional movement pioneered by such artists as Mansour Ghandriz, Parviz Tanavoli, Mohammad Ehsai, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, Faramarz Pilaram and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi. Meanwhile, artists including Bahman Mohasses, Farideh Lashai, Sirak Melkonian, Behjat Sadr, and Mohsen Vaziri-Moghaddam incorporated Western influences, drawing links to their contemporaries in Europe and North America.