Art And Culture

Iranian, Arab Modern Artworks at TMoCA

The artists are influenced by the challenges of regional conflicts and depict them in their work, yet one can see energy in them too. The exhibition is an opportunity for a dialogue and the visitors can be introduced to many stories of the Arab world thro
Details of two works by Arab artists at the exhibitDetails of two works by Arab artists at the exhibit

An exhibition of Iranian and Arab modern art opened on Tuesday, November 8, at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA).

Titled ‘The Sea Suspended’, the exhibit showcases 40 artworks by Iranian artists and 40 works by Arab artists, the public relations office of the museum reported.

The Iranian works have been selected from the treasured collection of the museum and the pieces by Arab artists have been provided by the Barjeel Art Foundation in the United Arab Emirates.

“Unfortunately, today the world media show a dark image of the Middle East; however, the Muslim and Arab artists can benefit from artistic opportunities such as this exhibition to introduce the culture of the region,” said Director of TMoCA Majid Molla Norouzi.

“Art is important in that it allows experiences to be shared, even across the boundaries of language or culture. This is even more significant when we work together with organizations from the region, such as the Barjeel Art Foundation. Hosting this diverse collection of Arab art and exhibiting it to the Iranian audience will allow us to share the region’s modern heritage. It also allows for a unique dialogue between two institutions that hold a common passion for bringing art to the public, which we hope will continue,” he added.

This is the first time modern works of Arab art are being shown in Iran. The exhibit with works by leading artists of the Arab world and Iran will provide an opportunity to review the position and role of art in the region and compare Iran and Arab modern art in the past and present.

Karim Sultan, curator of the Arab section of the exhibit said, “The selection of works by theme and region demonstrates the multiple approaches to art in modern conditions by artists from diverse backgrounds. What we hope to present is a small but diverse selection of works across a number of themes that are important to artists in the 20th century.”

The show represents a 50-year period of works from the 1940s to the 1990s from around the Arab world including Egypt, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen and Saudi Arabia among other countries.

Themes of the nation and the self, the village and the city, abstraction, language and identity are explored through the works of the Arab artists.

  Regional Challenges Depicted in Works

“Although massive industrial development and urban growth happened in the 20th century, it was also a century of conflicts in the region. Therefore, the artists are influenced by the challenges and depict them in their work, yet still one can see energy in them too. This exhibition is an opportunity for a dialogue and the visitors can be introduced to many stories of the Arab world through the works,” Sultan added.

The Iranian artists whose works are exhibited include Farah Ossouli, Gizella Varga-Sinai, Hussein Mahjoubi, Mehrdad Afsari and Mohammad Farnoud among others.

Important artists from the Arab world will represent their individual regions, highlighting the diversity of practices and approaches. Among the most notable artists are Seif Wanly, Inji Efflatoun and Hamed Ewais from Egypt, Kadhim Hayder, Shakir Hassan Al Said and Dia Azzawi from Iraq, Hassan Sharif and Abdel Qader Al Rais from the UAE, Abdallah Benanteur from Algeria and Ahmed Cherkaoui from Morocco.

The exhibit will run through December 23 at the TMoCA located next to Laleh Park, North Kargar Street, Tehran.


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