Parviz Tanavoli Prevented from Travelling to London
In an interesting turn of events, the reputed Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli could not attend the 3rd July talk organized at the British Museum in London as the Iranian authorities confiscated his passport. With a focus on the book European Women in Persian Houses, the lecture continued as the author Tanavoli was declined the opportunity to travel and left in the dark about the reasons for confiscation of his passport.
The celebrated artists has his work showcased alongside big names like Andy Warhol and Lichtenstein in the Tate Modern’s rehang, in a room named Beyond Pop. His works were also a part of Tate Modern’s last year exhibition titled The World Goes Pop.
It was on the 2nd July that the artist was told by the border officials at Tehran Imam Khomeini Internaitonal Airport that he could not travel to London. Tanavoli, for whom Tehran is as much of a home as is Vancouver is kept in the dark about his status and has only be told that his case would soon be sorted out. He awaits his pending case and wonders aloud what case is it that they talk about and how soon would soon be. The Iranian officials and authority at their embassy in London have so far not come up with any comment on the situation.
The new book by Tanavoli is published by IB Tauris and looks to explore the presence of 20th century collected or incorporated prints of glamorous and unveiled European women in the homes and residences of the wealthy Iranians.
The artists was also scheduled to speak later on the 4th of July at Asia House in London on the significance of lion in the art and culture of Persia. This talk was in anticipation of an exhibition that is due to open in the month of March at the Museum of Contemporary art in Tehran under the title of The Lion in Iran and the Art of Parviz Tanavoli.
It was in 1960s that Tanavoli gained fame because of the pioneer that he became for an entirely new form of Pop art in Iran. As per a visiting scholar at Brown University Rhode Island, Shiva Balaghi Tanavoli would wander around the streets of South Tehran in the 1960s, discovering objects that had been discarded hitherto, like Basquiat practicing his art in a different time in a different part of the world. Balaghi last year co-organized a retrospective of the artist’s work at the Davis Museum, Wellesley College, Massachusetts.
It was in the Atelier Kaboud workplace of Tanavoli in south Tehran that the Saqqakhaneh School took its roots. Saqqakhaneh School also included Hossain Zenderoudi – the artist. It was this very school that first brought together the theory of the avant-garde and the motifs from Iranian folk culture and traditions and gave birth to the Middle Eastern strain of the 1960s modernism that had its roots firmly placed in the popular culture.