Art And Culture

Lisson, Gagosian Lend Works to Ab-Anbar exhibition

Lisson, Gagosian Lend Works to Ab-Anbar exhibitionLisson, Gagosian Lend Works to Ab-Anbar exhibition

Following the lifting of economic sanctions in Iran in January, the UK’s Lisson Gallery and the US Gagosian Gallery have taken steps into Tehran by lending works by two of their artists to an exhibition at a local gallery.

Ab-Anbar in downtown Tehran opened in 2014 with the aim of promoting expatriate Iranian artists. For the group exhibition, Mass Individualism: A Form of Multitude (until May 20), director Salman Matinfar and curator Azadeh Zaferani were keen to include works by Shirazeh Houshiary, a London-based artist represented by Lisson, and Y.Z Kami, who is with Gagosian. Both were born in Iran, but neither has exhibited publicly there until now.

“The galleries were very cooperative; I think they are testing the waters,” Matinfar says. However, although the sanctions have been officially lifted, insurance and logistics are still problematic. “Eventually we got the works here although I have had to self-insure [the works] from the US,” he adds.

Ab-Anbar started planning the exhibition in April 2015, optimistic that sanctions would be lifted, the reported.

Although a representative from Gagosian declined to comment, Greg Hilty, the curatorial director at Lisson Gallery, says that the project “provided an exciting opportunity not only to showcase work by Shirazeh in the country of her birth, but also to engage with the burgeoning contemporary art scene in Iran.