Imago Mundi

Contemporary Artists from Iran 

Iran:, Contemporary Artists from Iran, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi 
In 2012 I received an e-mail on behalf of Mr. Luciano Benetton asking for my collaboration in selecting artworks by contemporary Iranian artists within the context of a book. I found the idea quite enticing and gladly accepted the challenge. 
Hedayat, Ghasem Hajizadeh, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Hedayat (2014)
by Ghasem Hajizadeh

The book project was a useful means of getting to know a good number of artists whose thoughts and outlooks were not familiar to me.

Parastoo Ahovan - Homeland, Parastoo Ahovan, 2016, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Parastoo Ahovan - Homeland (2016)
by Parastoo Ahovan

At the outset I wasn’t truly aware of the scale of the responsibility I had undertaken and had a somewhat naive notion of collating artworks and with no particular plan in mind. However, I did start with the younger artists (mostly art college/ academy students and graduates thereof).

Untitled, Farzin Rahneshin, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Untitled (2014)
by Farzin Rahneshin

I was lucky to have known a couple of art students who had in the past helped me in various art projects, ‘Sara Rahmanian’ for one. Sara, a dedicated art enthusiast served as the contact point between me and a number of young artists; she was of great assistance in identifying and introducing artists whom she thought may be suitable and interested. Indeed many of them were very keen and did end up making valuable contributions to the project.

Green Artery of Mother Earth, Sara Gholami, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Green Artery of Mother Earth (2014)
by Sara Gholami

Some of the artworks shared similar concepts but each expressed through the respective artist’s own personal language and manner. These common patterns revealed themselves as the project developed, in a sense indicating that we all live under the same roof (so to speak) and are susceptible to similar social and environmental stimuli.

Flower, Sale Sharifi, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Flower (2014)
by Sale Sharifi

Throughout, my aim was not to look for any specific type of artwork or medium and ultimately to put together artworks from a wide range of practices. Altogether though the project involved much more work and took more time than initially expected, especially so in working with the young (relatively inexperienced) artists, getting their artworks and associated texts in line with Mr. Benetton’s requirements and expectations.

Untitled, Ahmad Montazeri, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Untitled (2014)
by Ahmad Montazeri

I knew I had to include more prominent and established artists as well. Here, my ‘saviour’ turned out to be none
other than Fereydoun Ave. I had told him about the book project. With great generosity of spirit Fereydoun Ave threw in his lifetime’s experience in the arts including that of collaboration with many prominent artists of his time.

From the series titled ‘Tractors’, Abdolsamad Abroshan, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

From the series titled ‘Tractors’ (2014)
by Abdolsamad Abroshan

The Yellow Feathers of Love, Shideh Tami, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

The Yellow Feathers of Love (2014)
by Shideh Tami

I dare say his contribution has been a credit and added considerable weight to the book project. With his guidance I was able reach out to some artists from the 60s and 70s, artists who played an important role in the history of Iranian contemporary art and established noteworthy artistic movements. Despite the fact that they no longer lived in Iran, many announced their cooperation and patiently delivered their beautiful artworks, which were specifically created for the book, Fereydoun Ave among them who also named the book, ‘’.

Manipulated Realm, Sarah Barin, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Manipulated Realm (2014)
by Sarah Barin

My gratitude also to Ms. Shahnaz Khansari, the owner of Tehran’s Mah Gallery, who acted as intermediary between myself and two other well established artists living and working abroad, plus an additional couple of up and coming young artists.

Untitled, Kaveh Irani, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Untitled (2014)
by Kaveh Irani

In the selection of young newcomers I have tried my utmost to be objective and not to allow my personal tastes to cloud or influence my choices. To this end I regularly sought and benefited from the advice and viewpoints of other artists who have valuable experience in the field and whose critique of artwork can be noteworthy.

Untitled, Bijan Saffari, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Untitled (2014)
by Bijan Saffari

For certain, no such compilation is all- inclusive, exhaustive, nor without flaws.
I’d be the first to admit that there is considerable room for improvement; if ever the opportunity was repeated! For me, this whole process of putting together the artworks, getting to know the artists, gaining an awareness of their world and track of mind, the exchange of ideas and discussions... all in all has been very educational and opened new horizons in my own life and work.

The Puddle, Sogol Azarshab, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

The Puddle (2014)
by Sogol Azarshab

Untitled, Farbod Elkaee, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Untitled (2014)
by Farbod Elkaee

So, 149 artworks, 109 artists, men and women, young and established, all Iranian.

Untitled, Maryam Ashouri, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Untitled (2014)
by Maryam Ashouri

Special thanks to my friends and colleagues, Ahmad Amin Nazar, Rokni Haerizadeh, Pouya Parsamagham, Vali Mahlouji and Alireza Rofougaran for their valuable input. Amir Farhad for introducing artists whom I had no prior connection with. Helia Darabi for translating a number of the texts written by the artists and
my husband Hama for his patience and assistance in editing the written material. Above all the fondest gratitude to the artists who made this project possible. Of course there were many others who helped me in this project, to whom I am grateful and hope they will forgive any omissions on my part.

Bita Fayyazi

Grape Garden, Tahmineh Monzavi, 2014, From the collection of: Imago Mundi

Grape Garden (2014)
by Tahmineh Monzavi

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