28 Iranian women artists in 3 decade survey Masques of Shahrazad in London

Shadi Gadhirian, Nil Nil, 2008

Shadi Ghadirian, Nil Nil, 2008

FEMALE IRANIAN ART

The Masques of Shahrazad to 9-14 March 2009 at Candlestar GalleryEvolution and Revolution of three generations of Iranian women artists

An exhibition featuring work by 28 Iranian women artists runs at The Mall Galleries, London, 9 – 14 March 2009. Opening on International Women’s Day and thirty years on from the upheavals of the Iranian Revolution, the Masques of Shahrazad is an opportunity to survey the Iranian artistic landscape of the last three decades. It is a moment to celebrate established artists and to uncover the new names that will bear the standard for women’s art in Iran for decades to come.

This exhibition takes its cue and inspiration from Shahrazad, or Sheherazade, as the heroine of A Thousand and One Nights is often called. Like the legendary storyteller, these artists have had to adopt feints and stratagems, beguiling, charming and evading authority to sustain their artistic endeavours.

The Masques of Shahrazad includes work by celebrated Iranian artists such as Pariyoush Ganji, Maryam Javaheri, and Mansoureh Hosseini as well as Farideh Lashai, Golnaz Fathi, and Farah Ossouli, alongside younger artists who are beginning to register on the international art scene, namely Samira Alikhanzadeh, Shadi Ghadirian and Tahereh Samadi Tari.

Samirah Alikhanzadeh, The Orange Raquet Team, 2008

Samirah Alikhanzadeh, The Orange Raquet Team, 2008

The exhibition illustrates themes that range from time, a constant yet fragmented notion as depicted here, to politics. Each generation of artists deals with these themes in very different ways, but there is a shared sense of identity and heritage, expressed through reinterpretations of the Iranian creative vernacular.

Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, 2008

Golnaz Fathi, Untitled, 2008

Fariba Farshad, Director of Candlestar and joint curator of the exhibition, says: ‘Gradually, Iran’s female artists have engineered a shift in the limitations and barriers that constrained their predecessors, and have cleverly turned their weaknesses into strengths. Each of the three generations of artists we have selected for this show have had to evolve their own strategy to circumvent authority and express themselves, overcoming their fears and showing things that other people are afraid of expressing. Their works are sharp, subtle and perhaps subversive, without appearing to be any of these things; this is the genius of the masque. And a strange thing has happened: the decision to be an artist is no longer frowned upon. Many of the parents of this new generation of artists know what Shahrazad knew – that in the making of art there lies a path to a kind of liberation.’

Shirin Neshat click to buy book

Shirin Neshat click to buy book

The exhibition is produced by Candlestar, in association with the Day Art Gallery, Tehran.

Source: Candlestar Gallery press release

Masques of Shahrazad Artists: Mania Akbari, Azadeh Akhlaghi, Samira Alikhanzadeh, NahidArian, Bahar Behbahni, Fataneh Dadkhah, FatemehEmdadian, Yasmine Esfandiary, Golnaz Fathi, Pariyoush Ganji, Shadi Ghadirian, Yassi Golshani, Shahla Habibi, Mansoureh Hosseini, Maryam Javaheri, Shila Kalamian, Delaram Kia, Farideh Lashai, Farah Ossouli, Raziyeh Poursalari, Azadeh Razaghdoost, Tahereh Samadi Tari, Zahra Shahamatpour, Delbar Shahbaz, Maryam Shirinlou, Shideh Tami, Gizella Varga Sinai, Maryam Zandi.

Related links: Candlestar Gallery

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