Art

Tehran Museum Reveals Western Artwork Masterpieces Hidden For Many years | IRAN

Among the world’s most prized works of latest Western artwork have been unveiled for the primary time in many years in Tehran.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, a hardline cleric, criticizes Western affect. The authorities condemned the “deviant” artists for “attacking Iran’s revolutionary tradition”. And the Islamic Republic has plunged additional into confrontation with the US and Europe because it quickly accelerates its nuclear program and diplomatic efforts stall.

However contradictions abound within the Iranian capital, the place hundreds of adoring women and men gazed at American and European minimalist and conceptual masterpieces from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries on show for the primary time this summer time on the Museum of Up to date Artwork from Tehran.

On a latest August afternoon, artwork critics and college students gazed at Marcel Duchamp’s 1915 clear mural The Giant Glass, lengthy interpreted as an exploration of erotic frustration.

Additionally on show have been a uncommon 4-metre (13 ft) untitled sculpture by American minimalist pioneer Donald Judd and one among Sol LeWitt’s best-known collection items, Open Dice, amongst different vital works. The Judd sculpture, a horizontal collection of lacquered brass and aluminum panels, is value hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

Works by German artists Bernd and Hilla Becher. Picture: Vahid Salemi/AP

“Establishing a present with such a theme and such works is a daring transfer that requires a variety of braveness,” mentioned Babak Bahari, who noticed the 130-work exhibit for the fourth time because it opened in June. “Even within the West, these works are on the heart of debate and dialogue.”

The federal government of Iran’s Western-backed Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and his spouse, former empress Farah Pahlavi, constructed the museum and purchased the gathering for billions of {dollars} within the late Seventies, when oil boomed and Western economies stagnated.

At its opening, it featured works by Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, Claude Monet, Jackson Pollock and different massive names, enhancing Iran’s cultural standing on the world stage.

A portrait of Marilyn Monroe by the American artist Andy Warhol, on display at the museum.
A portrait of Marilyn Monroe by the American artist Andy Warhol, on show on the museum. Picture: Abedin Taherkenareh/EPA

However simply two years later, in 1979, Shia clerics deposed the Shah and packed the artwork into the museum’s vault. Some work—Cubist, Surrealist, Impressionist, Pop Artwork—have been hidden for many years to keep away from offending Islamic values ​​and to fulfill Western sensibilities.

However throughout a thaw in Iran’s politics, artwork started to re-emerge. Whereas Andy Warhol’s Pahlavi work and a few nudes are nonetheless hidden within the basement, a lot of the artist’s assortment has been dropped at mild as Iran’s cultural restrictions have been relaxed.

The continued exhibition on minimalism, that includes 34 Western artists, has captured specific consideration. Greater than 17,000 folks have seen the works for the reason that launch, the museum mentioned, virtually double the variety of earlier exhibits.

Sinjerli variations no.  1-5 (1977) by Frank Stella are exhibited for the first time in the Iranian capital.
Sinjerli variations no. 1-5 (1977) by Frank Stella are exhibited for the primary time within the Iranian capital. Picture: Vahid Salemi/AP

Curator Behrang Samadzadegan credit a latest renewed curiosity in conceptual artwork, which first shocked audiences within the Nineteen Sixties, drawing on political themes and taking artwork out of conventional galleries and into the broader world.

Museum spokesman Hasan Noferești mentioned the scale of the crowds coming to the exhibition, which ends in mid-September, confirmed the joys of experiencing long-hidden trendy masterpieces.

It additionally attests to the enduring urge for food for artwork amongst Iran’s youthful era. Greater than 50% of the nation’s 85 million persons are beneath 30 years outdated.

Regardless of their nation’s deepening world isolation and fears that their already restricted social and cultural freedoms may very well be additional curtailed beneath the federal government elected a yr in the past, younger Iranians are more and more exploring the world of worldwide artwork on social networks. The brand new galleries hum. Colleges of artwork and structure are thriving.

“These are good artistic endeavors, you do not need to imitate them,” mentioned Mohammad Shahsavari, a 20-year-old structure pupil standing in entrance of LeWitt’s dice construction. “Slightly, you are taking inspiration from them.”

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