During a recent visit to Tehran, one of the most exciting prospects was the possibility of seeing the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art collection. It is one of the largest modern collections in the world and purportedly worth billions. However, as it it was the Persian New Year, the government must have felt that Iranian revolutionary art was more appropriate for the holidays and so not one of the Western works were on display –which was, of course, extremely disappointing!
Next stop was the Iranian Artists Forum. This institution was teeming with a wide array of style and form that was admittedly less refined than the works at TMCA; albeit the work of students and emerging artists. It was quite leisurely to walk throughout the studios and it looked as though the building had been turned into a sort–of graduate show (not unlike RMIT or VCA). There were many pieces that were quite successful here, artists that showed much more depth and promise than the aforementioned established artists at TMCA. And it was free.
The Iranian Artists Forum was definitely the highlight of the art that we saw in Tehran but given the collection hiding in the basement at TMCA we‘ll definitely be back to try and glimpse those ultra–rare Warhols, Pollocks and Kandinskys!