Iran is currently hosting one of the most exciting and growing Middle Eastern Art scenes. Tehran, the capital city, boasts more than 200 privately owned galleries, most of which have opened over the past ten years. The metropolis, with a population of 16 million people, is churning out artists of such caliber that we couldn’t believe our eyes on our recent trip to the city. Nasser Bakhshi, Arsia Moghaddam, Habib Farajabadi and Mona Janmohamadi all impressed us, and not to mention the amazing Barbad Golshiri.
But what Tehran really needs is more spaces and galleries encouraging this kind of artistic output. A great project that is doing just this is Ab-andar. Another is Dastan’s basement, which has 22 shows a year and can be found in the basement of Dastan gallery. They exhibit younger unrepresented artists and showcase more challenging exhibitions.
Our team was absolutely amazed at the incredible collection at the The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMOCA), kept in the vault for about 40 years with limited access. It included a fab Pollock and two Rothko’s, among others! We saw the first exhibition of an international artist at the museum after it reopened, a Wim Delvoye exhibition. Delvoye had used local craftsmen to produce several of his pieces. Delvoye is currently doing a big project in Kashan, where he is renovating and maintaining the architectural heritage of amazing buildings. One of the spaces is going to be a big exhibition space, stay tuned on Collectionair to find out more as its happening!
The final part of our Collectionair team visit in Tehran was to an amazing performance. The performance was produced by Amirali Navaee, and started out with a poem by Saadi Shirazi. The performers were so incredibly expressive that it didn’t seem to matter that the reading was in Farsi, it had little effect on us when it came to understanding the performers frustrations, anxieties and revelations.