2020 2020: Contemporary Iranian Art & the Historical Imagination
Contemporary Iranian Art & the Historical Imagination

UMass Dartmouth Campus Gallery, February 20 - April 1, 2020

Contemporary Iranian Art & the Historical Imagination Exhibition

Opening Reception | Thursday, February 20, 2020

Panel Discussion: 5:00-6:00 pm 
Reception: 6:00-7:00 pm  
Campus Gallery, CVPA Building, UMass Dartmouth Main Campus

Featured artists

Artemis Akchoti, Samira Alikhanzadeh, Amir Hossein Bayani, Gohar Dashti, Raoof Dashti, Sissi Farasat, Shadi Ghadirian, AmirAli Ghasemi, Hassan Hazer Moshar, Ghazaleh Hedayat, Rana javadi, Pantea Karimi, Mehran Mohajer, Azita Moradkhani, Hamed Noori, Siavash Naghshbandi, Mojtaba Tabatabaei

Organized in Conjunction with Pamela Karimi’s class: Art & Politics in the Middle East

This exhibition is organized in conjunction with Professor Pamela Karimi’s class, Art & Politics in the Middle East. The course examines the politics involved in (re)presenting, marketing, exhibiting and discussing contemporary Middle Eastern art. Students have the opportunity to examine the thematic frameworks that currently situate Middle Eastern art within the global discourse of art. In addition to readings and discussions, students are required to contribute to organizing an exhibition about contemporary Iranian art.

Contemporary Iranian Art & the Historical Imagination Exhibition

The Exhibition features high-quality artworks from the collections of Azita Bina, Elmar Seibel, Ars Libri Ltd., Gallery Kayafas as well as personal collections of several Iranian and Iranian-American artists. The exhibition sheds light on how contemporary Iranian artists engage with Iran’s ancient heritage, history, and politics. Despite having a tradition deeply rooted in complex historical narratives and aesthetic sensibilities, all the artists featured here reveal their own unique interpretations. While reflecting on history and politics, this exhibition also captures a long-lasting artistic lineage. Displayed in conjunction with historic manuscripts and images on loan from the private collection of Elmar Seibel and Ars Libri Ltd in Boston, this exhibition invites us to appreciate the extent to which contemporary Iranian artists build on their heritage to craft a unique artistic idiom.

Contemporary Iranian Art & the Historical Imagination exhibition view

Through this exhibition, participating students have the opportunity to hone their skills in all aspects of curation and exhibition design: from handling precious artwork to installing vinyl lettering and from label writing to selecting color themes for the gallery walls. Additionally, they are required to deliver short presentations on the thematic sections of this exhibition, including the Shahnameh [the Book of Kings], medieval manuscripts, Qajar Iran, the 1953 Coup, the 1979 revolution, censorship and many more.

Contemporary Iranian Art & the Historical Imagination Exhibition

***This exhibition was made possible through a Provost Seminar Series Grant and a generous support from the Department of Art Education, Art History and Media Studies at the College of Visual and Performing Arts at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

***Special thanks to Ars Libri Ltd, Elmar Seibel, Azita Bina, Gallery Kayafas, Merri Cyr, Mark Walker, Cynthia Raposa, Hamed Noori, Artemis Akchoy, Azi Majooni, Amir Tabatabaie, Viera Levitt, Lawrence Jenkens, Anna Dempsey, grad student gallery assistants, and all the hardworking students enrolled in ARH 359.