As Trump’s economic sanctions close off Iran ever further from the rest of the Western world and its culture, a group of art gallery owners in Tehran are determined to create a different view of their country, its capital city, and to foster open communication about the contemporary art scene there.
Maryam Majid, the director of Tehran’s Assar Art Gallery, and Hormoz Hematian, founding director of Dastan’s Basement (the first Iranian gallery ever at Art Basel Hong Kong) have co-founded the first-ever art fair in Iran, Teer Art, which takes place in Tehran this coming week.
Though Tehran boasts over 200 galleries of its own, the local scene’s gallery owners have been vocal about wanting to expand their audience and to promote their artists on a wider scale. To that end, Teer will showcase 11 prominent galleries among the capital’s roster, with over 80 new commissions and unseen works from 70 artists at this first edition of the fair. As Hematian has pointed out, Iranian artists have suffered under economic sanctions, as they’ve been prevented from participating in the major international art fairs now so key to spotlighting — and selling — their work.
“Our art system needs to believe in itself, and Teer just might do that,” Orkideh Daroodi, the founding director of the city’s O Gallery, has said.
The diverse array of work on display will include figurative art, large-scale painting, works on paper, and large-scale sculpture in a special section called ‘Beyond.’ As at any major art fair these days, the Teer organizers have also scheduled talks and panel discussions touching on collecting, the state of the global art market and much more. Ava Centre, Aghdassiye.