In parallel with the ongoing Arab Print exhibition series, Meem Gallery presents Iran Print, its first presentation of printmaking from Iran.
Showcasing works reflecting the history of this medium in Iran and its development into the 20th century, the exhibition is curated by Yashar Samimi Mofakham and Tarlan Rafiee of Bread and Salt Projects, Tehran.
Despite the fact that the origins of print in this region date back as far as written history itself, print as an independent medium and art form only emerged in Iran in the middle of the last century. The first signs of printmaking within a fine art context in Iran can be traced back to the 1950s, a decade which also marked an important milestone in the practice, with pioneering artists experimenting with and creating prints which are still considered to be some of the country’s finest.
Printmaking classes taught by the masters, Marcos Grigorian and Parviz Tanavoli at the Tehran College of Decorative Arts and Fine Art School of Tehran led to a boom in the practice resulting in the organisation of several notable print exhibitions. Held in 1958, the first Tehran Biennale included multiple examples of prints which were recognised for their artistic merit and awarded prizes, firmly establishing the importance of the medium.
Alongside rare prints made during the Qajar period, four Modern Iranian artists, Sirak Melkonian, Bahman Mohassess, Parviz Tanavoli and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, each of whom have played a seminal role in the history of art in Iran, are featured in this first iteration of Iran Print. In its present and future editions this series of exhibitions will endeavour to shed further light on this important but often neglected part of Iranian art history.