ECHOES IN BLUE is an exhibition of Iranian paintings displayed to introduce the American public to the work of contemporary Iranian artists. Consisting of 55 pieces of recent artwork by 13 Iranian artists, ECHOES IN BLUE portrays a cross-section of Iranian artists Ė including six women. †The collection provides a panoramic view of the current art scene within the boundaries of the Islamic Republic.
In recent years, The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art has actively promoted Iranian artistsí careers. It has exhibited their artwork around the world in prominent venues such as Christies in London and the Meridian Centerís touring exhibition in the United States. Although the Iranian government requires that the artists stay away from offensive topics to religion and politics, the work displayed in ECHOES IN BLUE clearly demonstrates the life struggles that emerge from living within a long-lasting revolutionary state. †
** The National Arts Club will present its Gold Medal of Achievement to the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art in recognition of its effort in promoting art around the world. †The award ceremony will take place on the evening of April 15, 2003. ††
The exhibition is organized and curated by Homa Taraji and Hamid Ladjevardi. Homa Taraji is the president of Paradi, an international fine arts organization based in Los Angeles. †Ms. Taraji acts as the liaison to The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and has done all additional coordination with the artists in Iran. †
Hamid Ladjevardi is manager of Baltic Fund Management and has been actively involved in investment projects in the Baltic countries since 1991. †He is a trustee of the Zimmerli Art Museum of Rutgers University in New Jersey and in 1999-2000 conceived and organized the world premier touring Baltic Art Exhibition in the United States.
The artists include: Reza Afsari, Massoud Arabshahi, Soheila Dowlatabadi*, Yaqoub Emdadian, Shahla Etemadi*, Golnaz Fathi*, Mina Ghaziany*, Hossein Khosrowjerdi, Farideh Lashai*, Manouchehr Motabar, Rezvan Sadeghzadeh, Koorosh Shishehgaran, Shideh Tami*
(* female artist)
A sampling of the art and artists:
Hossein Khosrowjerdi displays characters with no identity, struggling with life issues in a society that operates under the shadow of revolution. His images depict people straining to maintain their Persian identity in contradiction with the imposed Islamic identity. †Images such as "Empty Jars," depict the grief of running out of natural resources. In another work, two figures are stuck in a mud pool of polluted water with their only hope for escape an image of a "Paper Boat" floating away.
Shahla Etemadiís vibrant images of light on water depict a society that bans men and women intermingling in public and official places. †These paintings detail the curtains installed in the Caspian Sea to provide separate swimming areas for men and women.
Shideh Tamiís piercing portraits explore forceful expressions of frustration showing women living in a society where fundamental Islamic rules limit her rights to dress, express her thoughts, and act as she chooses.
The exhibition organizers recognize the need to bring contemporary Iranian art to the attention of a larger audience and demonstrate that in spite of repression against woman and art, Iranian artists of both genders have flourished. †