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Exhibition preview of Dusted Waters: Behjat Sadr


27/09/18 6:30 pm

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Join curator Morad Montazami for the opening of Behjat Sadr: Dusted Waters the first UK solo exhibition of one of Iran’s most influential and radical visual artists. The exhibition will show key works from the artist’s career, including rare examples of her kinetic works. Sadr worked in Iran, Italy and France and the exhibition will look at how her work was shaped by the cities of Tehran, Rome and Paris. Her close friendships with leading Persian poets were also an important influence on her work. The exhibition will look at her position as a female artist fighting for recognition in a male dominated art world.

The exhibition is part of The Mosaic Rooms 10th anniversary exhibition series, featuring modernist and contemporary artists from Egypt, Iran and Morocco.

Behjat Sadr (1924-2009) 

Behjat Sadr was born in Arak, Iran in 1924. After studying at the faculty of fine arts at the University of Tehran, Behjat Sadr went to Rome, where she graduated toward abstract painting and informal art. Leaving frames and traditional colours behind, she used synthetic industrial paints that she ran on supports placed on the ground. When she returned to Iran at the end of the 1950s, her experiments with subject and gesture were quickly noticed by Pierre Restany and, later, Michel Ragon. In the 1980s, when she split her time between Paris and Tehran, she notably produced photomontages in an unusual style reminiscent of her painting. Her works have been exhibited in many institutions in France and abroad: Galleria La Bussola, Rome (1958); Venice Biennale (1956, 1962); Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1963); Grey Foundation, Saint Paul, Minnesota (1971); Musées Royaux des Beaux-Arts de Belgique, Brussels (1972); Centre d’art Le Noroît, Arras (1985); Grey Art Gallery, New York (2010); Asia Society, New York (2013- 2014); Musée d’art modern de la ville de Paris / MAXXI Rome (2014-2015). In 2004, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art devoted a large retrospective to her, as part of the series of exhibitions devoted to pioneers of modern art in Iran. 

Morad Montazami is an art historian and curator. His research interests are cosmopolitan modernisms and histories of the avant-garde between trans-Arab, Iranian and Mediterranean zones. He has published essays on Farid Belkahia, Bahman Mohassess, Behjat Sadr, Mohamed Melehi, Mehdi Moutashar, Latif Al Ani, among others. He curated the exhibitions Bagdad Mon Amour at Institut des cultures d’Islam, Paris, 2018, Fugitive Volumes and Faouzi Laatiris: Catalogue déraisonné at the Mohammed VI Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Rabat (2016) and co-curated the exhibition Unedited History: Iran 1960-2014 at Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris and MAXXI, Rome (2014). He is the director of Zaman Books Publishing and its related journal Zamân. Montazami is currently working as a research curator at Tate Modern, London.


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