8 Cyrus Cylinder, Iran, 539-538 BCE. British Museum
9 The Poet and the Beloved of the King, Parviz Tanavoli, 1964-6. Tate Modern
10 Woman’s jacket, blouse and skirt, Iran, 1800–50. Victoria and Albert Museum
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of 1979 and the establishment of the Islamic Republic. The subsequent Iran-Iraq War (1980–88) brought mourning to the country.
The modern and contemporary section of the exhibition will be divided into two parts. On the one hand will be works from mid-century modernisms, including from leading figures of the Saqqa-khaneh school or ‘Iranian Pop Art’; on the other, works from post-revolutionary art. Shirin Neshat’s powerful two-screen video installation Turbul ent sits between both parts, reflecting new realities in Iran. Today, the art of the Islamic Republic and the Iranian diaspora has a renewing culture, whether influenced by the country’s long legacy, engaged and critical, or purely experimental. Khosrow Hassanzadeh’s self-portrait in mixed media stands as a striking expression of anxiety in a transcultural world.
‘Epic Iran’ will run until 12 September 2021. The curatorial team consists of Tim Stanley and Dr John Curtis OBE FBA as Co-Curators; Ina Sarikhani Sandmann as Associate Curator; Sarah Piram as V&A Project Curator; Dr Alexandra Magub as V&A Project Assistant; and Astrid Johansen as Cultural Heritage Manager, Iran Heritage Foundation. Epic Iran: 5000 Years of Culture, by John Curtis, Ina Sarikhani Sandmann and Tim Stanley is published by the V&A