Persian art has influenced thousands of artists, particularly painters and sculptors to create a powerful social force out of contemporary art and this has led to a booming art scene in Tehran.
Over the years, the city’s capital has become the center of arts and creation in the country and has contributed greatly to the growth of Persian art.
Iran has been consistent as a top contender in the international art scene and Tehran contributes greatly to this. Indeed, aficionados can expect to find a dynamic art scene in Tehran and are sure to satisfy their expectations.
To give you a better look at the Art Scene in Tehran, here’s a profile of the top museums and contemporary art galleries in the city.
A Peek Into Iranian Art Through the Top Museums and Art Galleries in Tehran
The National Museum of Iran
This smaller museum is chock-full of Iran’s rich history. The building was designed by French architect André Godard and completed in 1928, it’s one of the most attractive modern buildings in Tehran.
It houses a collection including ceramics, pottery, stone figures and carvings, mostly taken from excavations at Persepolis, Ismail Abad (near Qazvin), Shush, Rey and Turang Tappeh.
Exhibits from Persepolis include a magnificent human-headed capital; a cuneiform inscription proclaiming the might and godly affinity of Xerxes; and a striking frieze of glazed tiles from the central hall of the Apadana Palace.
For the brave, one of the more fascinating exhibits is the Salt Man from Zanjan. He’s thought to have been a miner who died in the 3rd or 4th century AD, but whose white-bearded head, leg in a leather boot and tools were preserved by the salt in which he was buried.
The Museum of Contemporary Art
The rotunda of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art features a circular walkway spiraling down from the street level. Galleries branch out in every direction, giving up astonishing secrets from one of the finest—if often overlooked—collections of 20th century art in the world. One of the galleries features Jackson Pollock’s 1950 masterpiece Mural on Indian Red Ground. This is one of Pollock's largest paintings, and considered by many to be his best.
Before the 1979 revolution, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art held and displayed an amazing collection of modern Western masterpieces, the largest outside Europe and North America, in fact. It sadly sank into obscurity but is now re-emerging.
In 2002, Etemad Gallery was established in Tehran by Mina and Amir Hossein Etemad.
This gallery of Iranian contemporary art features emerging and established artists. The works exhibited range from abstraction to figuration.
The contemporary art scene in Iran challenges stereotypes of a traditional society. Young avant-garde artists find inspiration in modern situations such as rapid urbanisation, globalisation and changes in demographics. They also use their various media to address some conceptual themes like modernity, identity, femininity and violence.
Etemad's is committed to supporting artists throughout different stages of their career.
More information is available here.
Phone number: +98 21 22747405
Address: No.4, Boukan St., Sadeghi-e-Ghomi St., Yaser Sq., Niavaran St., Tehran, Iran
This is Tehran's first privately-owned art gallery. The building offers 120 square meters of open exhibition space, mainly featuring contemporary art. A five-meter high ceiling and a panelled roof provide maximum natural light.
Aun Gallery was established in September 2009 to promote exceptionally talented young Iranian artists and support their contribution to Iran's rich tradition in the arts and culture. To ensure maximum exposure of the artist and the work on display, the gallery will hold ten to eleven solo exhibits per year, lasting approximately one month at a time. Learn more here.
Deep in the heart of the mega polis of Tehran, and in the cultural part of the city, one street off the two main theatres of Tehran, Aaran Projects is housed in a 100 year old renovated building. The building is part of 3 twin houses in a small alley, a unique alley that was designed by an Armenian Architect in 1920s. The building also houses Café Rira, a trendy café frequented by artists and hipsters, as well as Lola Gar Gallery that offers superb old and new carpets and rugs as well as handmade decorative pieces.
Renovation of two more buildings in the alley are underway and the municipality is going to lay cobblestones in the alley to allow for comfortable pedestrian crossing.
Phone number: +98 21 66702233
Address: Neauphle Le Chateau, Lolagar st. No 5.
Want to see world-class artworks and masterpieces? Book a flight to Tehran to see its dynamic art scene.