In the first comprehensive look at Iranian art and visual culture since the 1979 revolution, Talinn Grigor investigates the official art sponsored by the Islamic Republic, the culture of avant-garde art created in the studio and its display in galleries and museums, and the art of the Iranian diaspora within Western art scenes. Divided into three parts—street, studio, and exile—the book argues that these different areas of artistic production cannot be understood independently, revealing how this art offers a mirror of the sociopolitical turmoil that has marked Iran’s recent history.
Exploring the world of galleries, museums, curators, and art critics, Grigor moves between subversive and daring art produced in private to propaganda art, martyrdom paraphernalia, and museum interiors. She examines the cross-pollination of kitsch and avant-garde, the art market, state censorship, the public-private domain, the political implications of art, and artistic identity in exile. Providing an astute analysis of the workings of artistic production in relation to the institutions of power in the Islamic Republic, this beautifully illustrated book is essential reading for anyone interested in Iranian history and contemporary art.
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