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First Exhibition Of Iranian And Arab Modern Art In Tehran

TMOCA Opening InvitationTehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA) and Barjeel Art Foundation will present a joint exhibition of Iranian and and Arab modern art. This historic exhibition will also mark the first time a show of Arab art from the modern period will take place in Iran.

The exhibition will feature works by modern masters drawn from both TMoCA’s collection of Iranian art alongside a selection from the Barjeel Art Foundation collection of Arab art. The artists selected from the Barjeel collection represent artists from around the Arab world, including Egypt, Iraq, North Africa, the Levant, and the Arabian Peninsula.

Following recent significant international exhibitions that explore the development of modernity in art, this show seeks to explore an important era of Iranian and Arab art history that emerged during a period of worldwide development and change. The Sea Suspended will explore themes that led to new forms and styles that reflected the complexities around the emergence of modern life in both Iran and the Arab world.

Majid Mollanorouzi, Director of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art (TMoCA), said:
“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 organisations from the region, such as the Barjeel Art Foundation. Hosting this diverse collection of Arab art and exhibiting it to the Iranian public 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.”

Karim Sultan, Curator of the Barjeel Art Foundation, said: “The selection of works by theme and region demonstrates the multiple approaches to artmaking in modern conditions by artists from diverse backgrounds. Modernity did not begin at one point and end in another in history – instead, it begins and ends in different places, overlapping and emerging from different scenarios, pressures, and conflicts, and different sets of influences. 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.”

Important artists from Iran and Arab world will represent a diversity of art practices and approaches. Some artists from Iran will include Bahman Mohasses, Farideh Lashai, Hossein Zenderoudi, and Monir Farmanfarmaian; artists from the Arab world will include Seif Wanly, Inji Efflatoun, Shakir Hassan Al Said, and Huguette Caland.

Barjeel Art Foundation
Barjeel Art Foundation is an independent, United Arab Emirates-based initiative established to manage, preserve and exhibit a collection of Arab modern and contemporary art. The foundation’s guiding principle is to contribute to the intellectual development of the art scene in the Arab region by building a prominent, publicly accessible art collection in the UAE. Part of this objective involves developing a public platform to foster critical dialogue around contemporary art practices with a focus on artists with Arab heritage internationally. The foundation strives to create an open-ended enquiry that responds to and conveys the nuances inherent to Arab histories beyond borders of culture and geography.

By hosting in-house exhibitions, lending artwork to international forums, producing print and online publications, and fashioning interactive public programmes, the foundation strives to serve as an informative resource for contemporary art by Arab artists both locally and on the global stage.
In addition to building an informative database of artists, the foundation is seeking to develop an educational programme that both understands and involves the local community. By establishing partnerships with arts and cultural institutions internationally, the foundation looks to create opportunities to encourage public awareness of the importance of art to the community.

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as TMoCA, is among the largest art museums in Iran.It has over 3000 items in the collection, including world-class European and American paintings, prints, drawings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries. TMoCA also has one of the greatest collections of Iranian modern and contemporary art.

TMoCA is considered to have the most valuable collection of Western modern art outside Europe and the United States, a collection largely assembled by founding curators David Galloway and Donna Stein.