Essays

By Shiva Balaghi, December 2008 A textured black background merges into two abstract spheres—one layered in cold hues of blue and white, the other in warm hues of ochre and brown—evoking a night sky that contains within it the celestial bodies. Closer inspection of the surface of Siah Armajani’s painting Prayer for the Sun (1962) reveals […]

How did a self-described “dyed-in-the-wool Midwesterner” residing in St. Paul, Minnesota, come to donate over two hundred works of modern Iranian art to New York University (NYU)? Indeed, this group of works—part of The Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art at the Grey Art Gallery—constitutes the largest public holding of […]

A Brief History of 20th-Century Iran

By Shiva Balaghi Colonialism and Constitutionalism: Iran at the Turn of the Century At the outset of the 20th century, Iran was embroiled in a bifurcated struggle. On the one hand, Iranians struggled to maintain their national independence in the face of growing colonial pressures. Iran’s geopolitical importance made it a central focus of the […]

by Edward J. Sullivan Mexican artist Nahum B. Zenil has said: “I have always felt the need for self-analysis in my work in order to accept myself and the way I live. I have always felt marginalized in my life and have experienced a great sense of solitude. In my art I’ve tried to effect […]