Lion tombstones, Parviz Tanavoli, Silkscreen on Paper, 2015

Iran Print - 1

History of Printmaking in Iran

Curated by Tarlan Rafiee and Yashar Samimi Mofakham
Meem Gallery, Dubai, UAE

Despite the fact that the origins of print in this region date back as far as written history itself, print as an independent medium and artform only emerged in Iran within the last few decades.

The first signs of the printmaking within in a fine art context in Iran can be traced back to the 1950s, a decade which also marked an important milestone in the practice, with many pioneering artists experimenting with and creating prints which are still widely considered to be some of the most important in the history of the medium in the country.

Printmaking classes taught by the masters, Marcos Grigorian and Parviz Tanavoli at the Tehran College of Decorative Arts, and Fine Art School of Tehran led to a boom in the practice resulting in the organisation of several print exhibitions. Notably, the decade also saw the establishment of the Tehran Biennal in 1958, in which prints were recognised for their artistic merit and often awarded prizes, firmly establishing the importance of the medium.

Four pioneering Iranian artists, Sirak Melkonian, Bahman Mohassess, Parviz Tanavoli and Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, each of whom have played a seminal role in the history of Modern art in Iran, are featured in this first iteration of Iran Print. In its present and future editions this series of exhibitions will endeavour to shed further light on this important but often neglected part of Iranian art history.