9781788315364.jpg Persia Reframed

Persia Reframed (signed copies)

by Fereshteh Daftari



Iranian Visions of Modern and Contemporary Art
The modern and contemporary art of Iran has often been understood, and positioned by commercial institutions, as decorative or ethnic – hence the focus on calligraphy and veiled women. At a scholarly level it has been characterized as a comment on the socio-political context of the country. Viewing Iranian art as neither a commodity, nor an illustration of theory, Fereshteh Daftari approaches the modern art of Iran as a democratic space where pluralism – a range of different styles and ideas – can thrive. This art historical exploration offers new insights into Iranian art, from the late nineteenth century Qajar period, via the Saqqakhaneh movement of the 1960s and into the contemporary world. In the process the author comments on the concept of modernism in a non-Western environment and the shifting meanings of abstraction. She takes both a specific and a panoramic view of Iranian art to expose new themes such as the subversive appropriation of traditional art, whilst also tackling more perennial issues such as gender. With experience as an international curator, Daftari reviews the representations of Iranian artists outside the country and discusses the varied angles from which she has introduced the art to a Western audience. She explains how in the process she has steered clear of contentious rubrics, valorized contemporary media, and probed the complex relation between the individual and the political. Author: Fereshteh Daftari (Bloombury Publishing, May 2019, HC, 135 illustrations)

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About the Author


Fereshteh Daftari


Curator and scholar Fereshteh Daftari received her Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University (1988). During her tenure at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (1988 – 2009), she curated a number of international exhibitions including Without Boundary: Seventeen Ways of Looking (2006). As an independent curator and scholar she has continued writing and curating international exhibitions of Middle Eastern art, with a focus on the modern and contemporary art of Iran. Her curatorial work in the field of Iranian modernism includes Between Word and Image at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery in 2002, and Iran Modern at the Asia Society Museum in New York in 2013. She has also focused on contemporary art. Action Now, the first exhibition of contemporary Iranian performance art, was held in Paris (2012); Safar/Voyage: Contemporary Works by Arab, Iranian, and Turkish Artists at the University of British Columbia’s Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver (2013); and Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians at the Aga Khan Museum in Toronto (2017). It traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and then to the Asia Society Museum in New York. Daftari has published widely and her most recent book is titled Persia Reframed: Iranian Visions of Modern and Contemporary Art (London: I.B. Tauris/Bloomsbury, 2019).

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