Faramarz Pilaram

A celebrated painter and calligrapher, Farmarz Pilaram is most known for the modernisation and innovation of the historically traditional and conservative art of Persian calligraphy. One of the co-founders of the Saqqakhaneh movement the artist was Inspired by the elegant, curvilinear strokes and fluid forms of Naskh script Pilaram began producing brightly coloured, compositions using looser, deconstructed interpretations of the characters, coupled with geometric designs based on signature seals.


Training as a miniature painter before receiving a BA in 1965 and an MA in 1968 from the College of Decorative Arts, Tehran, Pilaram won a scholarship to study lithography and print in France for a year in 1971. Upon his return he became an associate professor at the Faculty of Architecture at Elm-o-san-at University in 1972 where he worked until 1980.


Pilaram’s work has been exhibited widely, both in his native Iran and internationally including in Iran Modern at The Asia Society, New York, 2013; Between Word and Image: Modern Iranian Visual Culture, Grey Art Gallery, New York, 2002 and Iranian Contemporary Art at the Barbican Centre, London, 2001.


The artist was the recipient of several national and International awards including the 1962 Gold Medal at the 3rd Tehran Biennial, the Silver Medal at Venice Biennial in 1962, the First Prize from the Ministry of Art and Culture at the 4th Tehran Biennial 1964, and the First Prize for the World Liberation of Hunger initiative, awarded by UNESCO in 1968. Pilaram’s works are included in the collections of Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran; Tehran Fine Arts Museum, Tehran; Grey Art Collection, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Queen Farah Pahlavi’s Private Collection.


Farmarz Pilaram died of a heart attack in 1982 at the age of 45