Special Features


Parviz Tanavoli and Abbas Kiarostami

Meem Gallery presents a joint exhibition displaying the work of two of the most influential and pioneering artists of the Middle East, Parviz Tanavoli and Abbas Kiarostami.

The exhibition features thirty pieces by Tanavoli, internationally recognised as Iran’s first significant modern sculptor, and photographic works specially selected by Kiarostami, the globally acclaimed Iranian filmmaker and photographer.

Parviz Tanavoli

Born 1937, Tehran, Iran
Tanavoli graduated from Tehran’s High School of Fine Arts in 1956. He then travelled to Italy, where he studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti, Carrara, until 1957. The following year, after an exhibition of his works at the Fahrang Hall, Tehran, he was awarded a scholarship to pursue his studies in Italy.

He went to the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, 1958 - 60, where he worked under the Italian sculptor Marino Marini. Between 1961 and 1963, he taught at the Minneapolis College of Arts and Design, returning to Iran in 1964 to become head of Sculpture at Tehran University until 1979.

Tanavoli has been at the origin of many art initiatives. He created the Atelier Kaboud, Tehran, in 1960 - where many of his contemporaries subsequently exhibited - and organised a touring exhibition of Iranian artists in the US, starting in Minnesota, in 1961; in the 1960s, he was a leading member of the Saqqakhaneh movement along with Charles Hossein Zenderoudi.

He is a celebrated artist, often described as the pioneer of modern sculpture in Iran, as well as a collector, teacher, scholar and author. He founded the Tehran Rug Society in 1973, and organised a number of exhibitions of tribal rugs from Iran. His collections of Iranian locks and Islamic metalwork have been exhibited as well, and books on the subject were published in 1976 and 2000.

His career throughout is infused with a deep passion, knowledge, and understanding of Iran’s rich visual and literary heritage as well as craft traditions. Tanavoli lives and works in Tehran and Vancouver. His works have been exhibited regularly in Iran, Europe, and US, including a retrospective at the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, 2003, as well as at the Elliott Louis Gallery, Vancouver, 2006.

Abbas Kiarostami

Born 1940, Tehran, Iran
Kiarostami is a photographer, filmmaker, painter, illustrator, graphic designer, and poet. After graduating from Tehran University with a degree in Painting, he started work as a graphic designer.

He began taking photographs of Iranian landscapes in the late 1970s, and since then has held over fifty exhibitions worldwide. At the age of thirty, he began his career as a filmmaker, making numerous award-winning films, becoming one of the most prominent figures in contemporary Iranian cinema.

Exhibitions of his work have been held in France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Germany, UK, Russia, China, Japan, US and Canada, and his photographic work is held in international collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Museum of Modern Art in New York, LACMA in Los Angeles, and Centre Pompidou in Paris.

His awards include, First Prize, Fourth Giffoni International Film Festival, Italy, 1974; Prize of International Confederation of Art Cinemas for Where is the Friend’s House, Forty-Second Locarno International Film Festival, Switzerland, 1989; Prize for Best Director for Close-Up, Fifth Dunkirk International Film Festival, France, 1991;

Best Director for Through the Olive Trees, 8th Singapore International Film Festival, 1995; Palme d’Or for Best Film for A Taste of Cherry, Cannes Film Festival, France; Lifetime Achievement Award, Third Beirut Film Festival, Lebanon, 2000; and Glory to the Filmmaker Award, Venice Film Festival, 2008.

Parviz Tanavoli & Abbas Kiarostami exhibiting from November 09,2009 - February 10,2010.



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