Global/Local 1960–2015

Six Artists from Iran

January 12–April 2, 2016

Global/Local 1960–2015: Six Artists from Iran

Global/Local highlights three generations of artists who look to their Persian heritage as a source of inspiration while making works that transcend national boundaries. Of the six artists—Faramarz Pilaram (1937–1983), Parviz Tanavoli (b. 1937), Chohreh Feyzdjou (1955–1996), Shiva Ahmadi (b. 1975), Shahpour Pouyan (b. 1980), and Barbad Golshiri (b. 1982)—some have lived primarily in Iran, others settled permanently in Europe or America, and still others alternate between living in their homeland and abroad. Drawing on the Grey Art Gallery’s unparalleled collection of modern Iranian art and supplemented with loans, the show sheds light on the delicate balancing act required by artists working outside the art world’s still-dominant North American–Western European axis.

The first generation of artists in Global/Local found inspiration in Iran’s extraordinarily rich heritage of architecture, poetry, calligraphy, and folk arts. Looking as well to Persian miniature painting, the two later generations extend these strategies, working in a wide range of media to articulate their social and political critiques. From the promotion of Iranian modernism in the Pahlavi era (1925–1979) to the questioning of government authority during the 1979 Revolution, the Iran-Iraq War (1980–88), and the current Islamic Republic, all the artists have reconceived local forms to speak to global audiences.

With rising attention to the Middle East in recent decades, along with the current burgeoning of its art worlds, it is becoming increasingly urgent to reflect on the region’s visual culture. Since its founding in 1975, the Grey Art Gallery has been committed to presenting modern art from the Middle East and Asia. Placing six Iranian artists in the international context where they belong, Global/Local furthers this ongoing project. Along the way, it explores what the terms “modern” and “contemporary” can mean—not only in the context of art from Iran, but also in today’s art discourse in general.


Starts Tuesday, Jan 12, 2016
Ends Saturday, Apr 02, 2016
Curator Lynn Gumpert
Organized by Grey Art Gallery, New York University

Major support for Global/Local 1960–2015: Six Artists from Iran is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts; the Violet Jabara Charitable Trust; UAS Asset Management; the WLS Spencer Foundation; the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation; The William S. and Ellen N. Taubman Foundation; and the Soudavar Memorial Foundation. The Grey Art Gallery appreciates the generous support of the Global/Local Leadership Committee: Avid Modjtabai, Chair, and Committee members Linda Jacobs, Sully Bonnelly and Robert R. Littman, Edee Anesi, Dr. Layla S. Diba, Mana and Nader Mobargha, Vahid and Mahshid Noshirvani, Mamak Shahbazi and William LoPinto, Nazgol and Kambiz Shahbazi, Mahshid and Jamshid Ehsani, and Neda and Farzad Rastegar. Additional support for Global/Local is provided by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; the New York University Arts Council; IBEC Building Corporation; the Cultural Services of the French Embassy; Leila Heller Gallery, New York/Dubai; Meem Gallery, Dubai; Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai; the Abby Weed Grey Trust; and the Grey’s Director’s Circle, Inter/National Council, and Friends.


Exhibition Types: Iranian Art