Rethinking the Contemporary Art of Iran


This book offers a rich visual and analytical account of artistic practices in Iran and its diaspora during the last three decades

This book is not yet published, but will be available from June 2024.

ISBN: 9788857249667 Category:


This book offers a rich visual and analytical account of artistic practices in Iran and its diaspora during the last three decades.

Rethinking the Contemporary Art of Iran seeks to articulate an alternative narrative of Iranian art in recent times, diverging from the prevalent portrayals often found in publications derived from exhibitions or collections in Western Europe and North America. It also steers away from the prevailing trend-setting schemes within the art world, particularly those attempting to “define” what qualifies as “contemporary Iranian art.” Its primary aim is to portray the contemporary art of Iran, embracing a diverse range of cultural expressions, each contributing to a vibrant mosaic that represents the multifaceted realities of the country – realities frequently overlooked in recent publications. The book highlights how this richness finds its most vivid expression in the works of emerging artists from both Iran and its diaspora over the past few decades. The same criteria apply to artists from earlier generations featured in the book. The selection is guided by a priority placed on those artists whose work, despite its significant merit in addressing previously unexplored facets of the art of Iran, has seldom been presented in recent exhibitions and publications.

The book comprises three essays that aim to provide multiple perspectives on contemporaneity, plurality and historical context, offering extensive insights into contemporary art practices both within Iran and among the diasporas. The second section encompasses about 400 works by artists, accompanied by texts elaborating on their oeuvre and the pieces depicted in the book. This section is organised into three distinct categories, “Societal and Cultural Resonance,” “Fantastical Visions,” and “Echoes of History,” each focusing on a specific artistic approach. Furthermore, the book provides biographies of the artists, a general bibliography and an index of artists.

Additional information

Weight 300 g
Dimensions 28 x 24 cm
Publisher name Skira Editore S.p.A
Publication date 11 June 2024
Number of pages 304
Format Hardback
Contributors Edited by Hamid Keshmirshekan
Dimensions 28 x 24 cm
Weight 300 g


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Hamid Keshmirshekan is an art historian, art critic and Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Arts, SOAS, University of London. Since 1994 he has taught art history and theory in British and Iranian universities, has organised several international conferences and events on aspects of modern and contemporary art of Iran and the MENA region, and has contributed extensively to various publications. His latest publications include The Art of Iran in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries: Tracing the Modern and the Contemporary (2023); Humorous Art Practices in the Contemporary Middle East: Reacting to Cultural Stereotypification, (2024), and Contemporary Art from the Middle East: Regional Interactions with Global Art Discourses (2015).