16 Feb 2024 - 25 Mar 2024

Present Illuminations



Tehran-based Bavan Gallery is proud to present their third contemporary art exhibition at Dubai’s Foundry. Titled Present Illuminations, this exhibition explores the works of four prominent contemporary artists whose practices are deeply influenced by Persian miniature art. Each of these artists has developed a unique and transformative approach to this traditional style, reinterpreting and reimagining various aspects of it from a contemporary perspective. Their work not only pays homage to the rich historical legacy of Persian miniature art but also contributes to its enduring relevance in the contemporary art scene.

The show’s opening reception will take place on February 16, 2024, from 6pm to 9pm, and it will run until March 25.

Curated by Takin Aghdashloo, this exhibition delves into a painting style that has been influenced by the social and historical developments shaping Iranian society and beyond. This transformation continues to evolve, with numerous artists from different generations exploring its conceptual and technical frameworks.

The exhibition will feature the works of four remarkable artists:

Farah Ossouli is a pioneering Nigure in Iranian contemporary miniature painting. In addition to the presentation of her remarkable artworks, her new book, Farah Ossouli: Burning Wings, published in Italy in 2024, will also be launched at the exhibition on March 2, 2024.

Elham Pourkhani and Abbas Shahsavar, two of Tehran’s most promising contemporary artists, are also featured in the exhibition. Their works serve as a mirror to the social shifts and cultural dynamics of Iran, offering viewers a glimpse into the vibrant and evolving art scene in Tehran.

Khadim Ali, based in Kabul and Sydney, is the only non-Iranian artist featured. Ali’s art transcends borders, bridging the gap between cultures, and encouraging a dialogue that extends beyond geographic boundaries.

Together, these four artists’ use of the traditional Persian style of painting serves as a bridge between the past and the present, allowing them to communicate profound messages that resonate with audiences worldwide, expanding the boundaries of this timeless and majestic style.

Press release from Bavan Gallery

Image: Elham Pourkhani. Beheading of Khosrow at Bisotun. 2024. Watercolor and gouache on paper. Image courtesy of the artist and Bavan Gallery