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.
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.
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.’
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, Maryam Javaheri, Shila Kalamian, Delaram Kia, , Mansoureh Hosseini, 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
- Female Iranian artists trendy thanks to Shirin Neshat – Time Out Dec 2008
- Which artists from Asia are in the Pompidou Centre collection?Dec 2008 – Pompidou is buying Iranian women artists including Shadi Ghadirian.
- Latest on update on market for Iranian Art – New York Times Dec 2008 – a useful summary survey about art from Iran, the market for it over the last two years and what has been happening in recent auctions.
- First UK survey of Iranian women film, photography artists in London 30 Years of Solitude Nov 2008