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Sign from Iran

Contemporary Iranian posters in The Museum for Islamic Art, Jeruzalem.

Exhibition title:
Sign from Iran
Venue: Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem, 2 Hapalmach St., Jeruzalem
Curators: Yossi Lemel and Marta Sylvestrová
Opening: štvrtok, 19 May 2016 at 7 PM
Duration: 19 May – 19 November 2016


Sign from Iran, at the Museum for Islamic Art in Jerusalem, presents for the first time in Israel an exhibition of 60 posters, the work of 27 of Iran’s finest artists and graphic designers. The posters touch on cultural and political life in Iran, and reflect the development of visual communication in Iran over the last forty years, and the prominent place it has won on the international scene.

The prohibitions and restrictions imposed by the Iranian authorities have been an important factor in the significant development of graphic design in Iran. To overcome the obstacles, Iranian artists developed a range of visual elements and extensive use of social media, which gives them channels of communication free of censorship and political, religious or cultural constraints.

The exhibition covers a wide range of subjects. Some posters paint a fascinating picture of Iran’s artistic and social life, advertising art exhibitions, theater performances, and film and literary festivals; others are more personal, with clear political overtones. But all pay tribute to Persian history, culture and script, merging ancient traditions and artistic techniques with modern art trends – traditional Persian calligraphy and new digital fonts.
Among them, for example, are posters by Morteza Momayez and Ghobad Shiva, regarded as the founding fathers of modern Iranian poster art. They put their country’s graphic art on the world map, and attracted generations of young Iranian artists to poster art.
Reza Abedini, the first Iranian graphic artist to defy the boundaries of the national visual style, was a key figure in the revival of Iranian graphic art. With a blend of Persian images and typography, he changed the face of Iranian graphic design, turning posters into visual metaphors with a poetic message. A fine example of Abedini’s distinctive artistic style is his masterwork, “Siyah Mashgh” (2004), in which a silhouette of the artist himself is covered in Persian and Latin script, imbuing the typography with a magical dimension.

Abedini formed and led the Dabireh Collective, a group of young, innovative Iranian graphic designers like Homa Delvaray, Farhad Fozouni, Shahrzad Changlavaee, Aria Kasaei and Iman Raad. The historical and contemporary interplay of Arabic and Persian writing systems is a common theme in their works.

more in press release

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