Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran

Untitled, 26 x 38 inches, silver gelatin print, Yahya Dehghanpoor.

Spring Break hours: The Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery will be closed March 17-20 and 23, but will open March 21 and 22 with limited hours (12-4 pm both days). The gallery resumes its usual schedule beginning Sunday, March 24.

Visual Arts
January 28 – March 24
Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

In the first survey of contemporary Iranian photography to travel to the United States, Persian Visions: Contemporary Photography from Iran features 20 of Iran’s most celebrated photographers who use the camera as a tool for cultural expression and self-exploration. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the aspects of existence—family, history, place, mortality, language, memory—that engage us all. These photographers offer a poignant reminder that at the center of political turmoil there can be humanity, and that a keen eye tuned to the tensions of modern life need not be blind to its poetry. Organized by the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and the University of Minnesota, Department of Art, this exhibition introduces some of Iran’s most celebrated photographers to American audiences.

Iran has long distinguished itself with the spectacular quality and international presence of its visual art and film. With the backdrop of increasing attention given to the art and culture of Iran and the current political crisis in that part of the world, an exhibition with this focus is most timely. In expressing their many different visions of their world, these artists offer a look at both private and public realms. Their perspectives contradict the way many foreign photographers typically capture Iran on film as purely exotic.

The exhibition will feature works by artists including Shokoufeh Alidousti, offering self-portraits and family photographs exploring both cultural and female identity; Esmail Abbasi, who draws on Persian literature for his subject matter with contemporary notes on the present circumstances in Iran; Shahriar Tavakoli, who focuses on his family history through a series of portraits capturing the subtleties and mood of the Iranian family; Koroush Adim and his Revelation series and Shahrokh Ja’fari whose use of unusual spacial rendering in depicting the veiled figure demands that the viewer look harder and think harder about what can be revealed through the visual.

Tuesday, February 19
Hadi Gharabaghi, Artist Lecture
5:30 pm, Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery

Artist and UMBC alum, Hadi Gharabaghi will speak about the photographs in Persian Visions, granting insight into the appearance of some of the cultural, historic and religious symbolism and imagery depicted. His lecture will also touch upon the way in which the current political climate in Iran affects practicing artists. This event is free and open to the public.

The Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 12 noon to 4pm, on Thursday until 8 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm. Admission is free. For more information call 410-455-2270.

Persian Visions was developed by Hamid Severi for the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran, and Gary Hallman of the Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington D.C.

This exhibition was made possible in part by the ILEX Foundation, University of Minnesota McKnights Arts and Humanities Endowment and the Department of Art, Regis Center for Art, University of Minnesota.

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