Contemporary Iranian Art

Contemporary Iranian Art

New Perspectives


9780863567216 December 2013 Hardback 352pp 379 colour illustrations

About the Book

Complex, innovative and thought-provoking, Iranian art in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries offers fresh insight into a culture and society that have been much misunderstood in the West and elsewhere.

In this new, comprehensive study, Hamid Keshmirshekan considers the dynamics at play for Iranian artists as they confront their cultural past as well as issues of contemporaneity and cultural specificity.

He contends that the twentieth century in particular proved a crucial period in the art and culture of Iran; it was then that the legacies of tradition and modernism came under critical review, and artistic concerns revealed themselves as indivisible from ideological ones.

Contemporary Iranian Art includes major work by acclaimed Iranian artists such as Mahmoud Bakhshi, Shadi Ghadirian, Barbad Golshiri, Marcos Grigorian, Farhad Moshiri, Shirin Neshat, Sohrab Sepehri, Mitra Tabrizian, Parviz Tanavoli and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi.

About the Author

Hamid Keshmirshekan is Senior Teaching Fellow at the Department of History of Art and Archaeology at SOAS, University of London, and Senior Research Fellow at the Khalili Research Centre (KRC), Oxford University. He was previously a senior lecturer at the Advanced Research Institute of Art, Iranian Academy of Arts, an associate fellow at the KRC at Oxford University, and  Editor-in-Chief of the bilingual (English-Persian) quarterly, Art Tomorrow. His publications include Koorosh Shishegaran: The Art of Altruism (2016), Contemporary Art from the Middle East: Regional Interactions with Global Art Discourses (ed.) (2015), Hunar-i mu’asir-i iran, risheh-ha va nazar-gah-hay-i nuvin (2015), and Contemporary Iranian Art: New Perspectives (2013).


'This masterful work is the product of deep research, which eloquently demonstrates the extraordinary richness of the art of modern and contemporary Iran. Keshmirshekan methodically builds a fascinating narrative, charting the development of the art schools, highlighting the key artists, the movements and debates and bringing us to the highly engaged art of today.'
Venetia Porter, Curator, Islamic and contemporary Middle East, The British Museum

‘Hamid Keshmirshekan has produced a fascinating, informative and stimulating book, allowing us, for the first time, to trace the history of Iranian art during the last 150 years and to appreciate what is happening to art in Iran today.’
James Allan, Professor of Eastern Art, University of Oxford

Contemporary Iranian Art: New Perspectives is revelatory, scarcely matched and surpassed by none. A master connoisseur with an encyclopaedic knowledge of his subject, Dr Keshmirshekan has emerged as the towering historian of contemporary Iranian art’
Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature, Columbia University