Massoud Arabshahi

Referencing pre-Islamic Near and Middle Eastern cultures, painter and sculptor, Massoud Arabshahi’s work combines tradition and modernity with futuristic elements. A prominent member of the Saqqakhaneh movement, the artist held his first solo exhibition at the Iran-India Centre, Tehran, in 1964. Graduating with a BA in Sculpture and Painting in 1965, he went on to receive an MA in Interior Design from the same institution in 1967.


Greatly inspired by Achaemenid, Assyrian and Babylonian reliefs found in Iran and Iraq, Arabshahi became known for his own architectural reliefs. Large-scale commissions for the Conference Centre in Tehran’s Arg Square (1969) and at the Office for Industry and Mining, Tehran (1971) in Iran, and the California Insurance Building in Santa Rosa, USA (1985).


Living between Tehran and California, Arabshahi’s work has been shown extensively in his native Iran, including in the Two Modernist Iranian Pioneers, alongside the work of Charles Hossein Zendouroudi, at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2001, as well in the United States and Europe, in Iran Modern at The Asia Society, New York, 2013 and Iranian Contemporary Art at the Barbican Centre, London, 2001.