Iranian past meets present in new LACMA show

 Parviz Tanavoli,  Lion and Sword II , 1979, © Parviz Tanavoli, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Parviz Tanavoli, Lion and Sword II, 1979, © Parviz Tanavoli, photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

The push and pull between past and present central to contemporary Iranian society is at the heart of a forthcoming exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the Fields of Empty Days curated by Linda Komaroff will examine the appropriation of the past, largely in the context of the present, by assembling 125 works of art in a variety of media.

Historical texts such as the Shahnameh or Book of Kings have been used to justify and legitimise ruling powers throughout the ages and, after the adoption of Shi‘a Islam in the early 16th century the remembrance of the martyrdom of Shi‘a Imams has also been used to steer present day thinking. These strands often carry forward into contemporary art and through a presentation of photography, painting, sculpture, video, posters, political cartoons, animation, and historical illustrated manuscripts, this intersection of past and present will take centre stage.

  • In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art will run from May 6 - September 9, 2018 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
 Newsha Tavakolian,  Mothers of Martyrs , 2006, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Nina Ansary, © Newsha Tavakolian

Newsha Tavakolian, Mothers of Martyrs, 2006, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Nina Ansary, © Newsha Tavakolian