Media Farzin

  • View of “Parviz Tanavoli,” 2015. Background, from left: Big Heech Lovers, 2007; Twisted Heech, 2007. Foreground, from left: Horizontal Heech Lovers, 2008; Standing Heech Lovers, 2007. Photo: Charles Mayer.

    Parviz Tanavoli

    PARVIZ TANAVOLI recalls that, as a teenager, he signed up for the first modern sculpture class ever offered in his native Iran. The year was 1952, and the course was almost canceled—not just because Tanavoli was its only student, but because there was no one to teach it. Iran’s nascent modern art scene had no sculptors to speak of, and art training was strictly academic. A European-trained painter was eventually found to run the course, but Iranian arts pedagogy would remain old-fashioned; Tanavoli’s senior-year project was completed under the stern eye of a colonel whose own practice

  • Farideh Lashai. Photo: Michael Nagle/New York Times.
    passages May 19, 2013

    Farideh Lashai (1944–2013)

    NEARLY FIVE DECADES of artmaking confirms Farideh Lashai’s reputation as one of Iran’s most prolific artists, a deft and capable painter of gestural abstractions. She was also a moving and perceptive writer, as revealed late in her career with the publication of the autobiographical Shal Bamu (The Jackal Came, 2003). Her prose shares the fluidity and restlessness of her paintings: One story gives way to another, chronology is nonexistent, and vivid fragments of personal memory open onto collective history—“like reading a diary in high wind,” as one Iranian critic described it. Where her canvases