Contemporary Iranian Art
Fig. 1. Contemporary Iranian Art. Courtesy of Reaktion Books, 2014.

Reaktion Books published a book titled "Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio" written by Talinn Grigor.

Publication Data

Grigor, Talinn. Contemporary Iranian Art: From the Street to the Studio. Reaktion Books, 2014. ISBN: 9781780232706.


The art world has recently witnessed a surge of interest in contemporary Iranian art, but what is the background to Iran's vibrant art scene? This is the first comprehensive book on Iranian art and visual culture since the 1979 revolution. Divided into three parts – street, studio and exile – it covers 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 the Western art scene. 

Grigor argues that these different areas of artistic production cannot be fully understood independently, for it is not despite censorship and exile that we are witnessing a boom in Iranian art today, as many have argued, but because of them. Moving between subversive and daring art produced in private to propaganda art made in the public view, this book offers an artistic mirror of the socio-political turmoil that has marked Iran's recent history. 

The author explores the world of galleries, museums, curators and art critics alongside a discussion of artists and their work, ranging from propaganda murals and martyrdom paraphernalia to avant-garde paintings and museum interiors. Grigor raises such topics as the cross-pollination of kitsch and avant-garde, the art market, state censorship, public–private domains, 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, Contemporary Iranian Art is essential reading for anyone interested in art today and in Iran's recent history.

About the Author

Talinn Grigor is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Arts at Brandeis University in Boston. She is the the author of Building Iran: Modernism, Architecture and National Heritage under the Pahlavi Monarchs (2009) and Identity Politics in Irano-Indian Modern Architecture (2013).

To order the book online visit the Reaktion Books website.