Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian was born in Qazvin, Iran, in 1924, where she studied Fine Arts at the Tehran University. She was one of the first Iranian students to travel to the United States after World War II where she completed her studies at Cornell University. Having graduated from Parsons School of Design in 1949, she became a Member of the New York Art Students’ League (1950-53).

Monir’s distinguished career has spanned more than five decades. Incorporating traditional reverse glass painting, mirror mosaics and principles of Islamic Geometry with a modern sensibility, her sculptures and installations defy easy categorization.

Monir’s mirror and reverse glass painting mosaic sculptures are built around principles of Islamic geometry. Through wall based panels and free standing works, she presents both a detailed craft and contemporary abstraction that employs an interaction of surface texture, light and reflection, colour and form. The characteristic mirror mosaic of Monir’s work is an Iranian decorative form known as aineh-kari. The technique dates back to the sixteenth century, when glass was imported from Europe and would often arrive broken. In Monir’s work, the intricate mirror mosaic and reverse-glass painting moves beyond a craft to explore the forms of the medium in a contemporary way. Along with drawings in felt marker, pen and ink, Monir has also used Plexiglas to combine her exploration of geometric forms with her long standing interest architectural forms in layered works of coloured lines that explores the forms of nomadic tents, minarets, and models for architectural sculptures.

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian
Qazvin, 1924

Past Exhibitions

Art & Jewelry

Custot Gallery
19/03/2018 — 02/06/2018

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Geometry

The Third Line
05/01/2016 — 30/01/2016

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility

Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
10/10/2014 — 11/01/2015

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
13/03/2015 — 03/06/2015

Solo Shows


Monir Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Geometry, The Third Line, Dubai


Monir Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibilities, The Guggenheim, New York


Monir Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibilities, Fundação de Serralves, Porto, Portugal


Monir Farmanfarmaian 2004-2013, The Third Line, Dubai


Convertibles and Polygons, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, USA


Zendegi, Beirut Exhibition Center, Beirut, Lebanon Kaleidoscope, The Third Line, Dubai


Group Shows


From Heaven to Hell, Boghossian Foundation, Brussels


Prospect 3, New Orleans, USA
Seeing Through Light, The Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Collection Opening exhibition, Manarat al Saadiyat, Abu Dhabi
Foundation “De 11 Lijnen”, Oudenberg, Belgium
The Language of Human Consciousness, Athr Gallery, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


Iran Modern, Asia Art Society, New York
Transparencies, Contemporary Art & A History of Glass, Anna K Meredith Gallery, Des Moines Art Center, Des Moines, USA
Sharjah Biennial 11, Re:emerge, Towards a New Cultural Cartography, Sharjah, UAE
La Route Bleue, Boghossian Foundation/ Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium Jef Geys / Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, WIELS Contemporary Arts Centre, Brussels
“The Fold£, Absence, Disappearance and the loss of memory in Iranian Art, CAB Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
Trade Routes, Hauser and Wirth, London
Poetics of Construction, Haines Gallery, San Francisco


Contemporary Iranian Art from the Permanent Collection, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Towards a Warm Math, On Stellar Rays, New York
The Other Half Of Iran, Sem-Art Gallery, Monaco
Jameel Art Prize, Casa Árabe, Madrid, Spain
Independent Art Fair, New York

Contacts & Details

City of birth: Qazvin Country of birth: Iran Date of birth: 1924 Lives in: Tehran