Art Histories Seminar
Mon 17 Jul 2017 | 15:00–17:00

The Experience of Talar-e Qandriz: Towards a Socio-cultural Practice in Pre-revolutionary Iranian Art

Combiz Moussavi-Aghdam

Forum Transregionale Studien, Wallotstr. 14, 14193 Berlin

Ru'in Pakbaz, Negarkhaneh-ie Iran, Tehran: Ministry of Cultre and Art Publication, 2535 Imperial Persian calendar [1976], p. 71.
Ru'in Pakbaz, Negarkhaneh-ie Iran, Tehran: Ministry of Cultre and Art Publication, 2535 Imperial Persian calendar [1976], p. 71.

On 23 June 1964 a group of young artists organised their first group exhibition to be a landmark in the history of modern Iranian art. The group, which was called Talar-e Iran (and later Talar-e Qandriz), turned into a movement that lasted for fourteen years right until the dawn of the 1979 revolution. This paper, as a part of a larger project on “Iranian modernism,” surveys the socio-cultural aims and strategies of the Talar in its historical context. Considering its members’ activities as artists, exhibition organisers and art publishers, this study addresses the Talar’s perspectives on the formation of “national art” in both theory and practice and with special reference to its complex position in relation to the state and its leftist dissidents at the time. It is also important to notice that how the experience of the Talar, as an avant-gardist independent group, manifests the artistic and art historical development in modern Iranian society, leaving a remarkable legacy for next generations.


Combiz Moussavi-Aghdam is a Researcher at the Education Committee, Association of Iranian Painters and Lecturer at the Art University in Tehran. He received his PhD in Art History and Visual Studies at the University of Manchester in 2009. His thesis, titled Entropy: Between Artistic Form and Formlessness; With Special Reference to Contemporary Iranian Art is about the ways in which the concept of entropy could be applied to modern and contemporary art, particularly in Iranian context. Since the end of his PhD, Moussavi-Aghdam has continued to work on the modern narratives of art history and aesthetics in Iran and the ways they have been adopted, reinterpreted and transformed in their new context. His articles on the above topics, have been published in the British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies and the Arab Studies Journal. In the last two years, he held presentations in Universities in Beirut, Tehran, New York, Bonn and Yerevan. Combiz Moussavi-Agdham is an Art Histories and Aesthetic Practices Short Term Fellow 2016/17 at the Berlin based Forum Transregionale Studien.

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