Focus: Contemporary Tehran at Contemporary Istanbul 2015

Words by Elena Scarpa
November 6, 2015

In the 10th edition of Contemporary Istanbul, taking place from November 12 to 15, the fair has a special focus on Iranian art, presenting works selected and brought by four of Tehran’s leading independent art galleries and one independent artistic foundation: Aaran Gallery, Assar Art Gallery, Dastan’s Basement, Shirin Art Gallery and Lajevardi Foundation. This year’s fair is also host to a special selection of Iranian Modern Art loaned from the outstanding Mobarqa family’s private collection.

While Tehran is home to a vibrant and exciting art scene, and as more Iranian galleries and institutions today take part in international events and worldwide cultural collaborations, Focus Contemporary Tehran aims to offer a strong selection of Iranian exhibitors, each with their precise approach, presenting a diverse range of works by some of the country’s most important and celebrated artists.

Known for presenting works by Iran’s most unique emerging artists, Aaran Gallery (established 2008) showcases works by four of its represented artists in this edition of the fair. Aaran’s unique booth consists of installations occupying the space.

Assar Art Gallery (established 1999) has been a regular presence in Istanbul in the past six years and is participating in Contemporary Istanbul for the fourth time. The gallery represents well-established and high profile Iranian artists generally in their mid-careers. In addition to works by a selection of its in-house artists, this year’s fair finds Assar presenting, in a different booth, a special selection of modern Iranian art loaned from the outstanding private collection of the Mobarqa Family. This presentation provides a rare chance for global art lovers to view closely and study of one of Iran’s most interesting artistic movements: the modern movement.

Being focused on a relatively diverse range of mediums and having a unique and unconventional strategy,Dastan’s Basement (established 2012) showcases works by some of the most unique Iranian artists of all generations—individuals that have never been in the spotlight but are considered to be some of the most outstanding emerging and established artists.

Shirin Art Gallery (established 2005, based in Tehran and New York) brings to the fair a selection of works by six of its representing artists showcasing a mélange of techniques and artistic approaches and ideas.

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