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Press Release

Over the past five decades, artist, curator, designer and collector Fereydoun Ave (b. 1945) has assembled a singular collection of modern and contemporary Iranian art inflected by personal history, friendship, sensibility and circumstance. 

A linchpin figure, Ave returned to Iran in 1970 after years of education abroad, organizing groundbreaking exhibitions at the Iran-America Society’s Tehran cultural centre and the Zand Gallery, while also serving as resident designer at the avant-garde Theater Workshop (Kargah-e Namayesh). He remained in Iran after the fateful Iranian Revolution of 1979, where he went on to launch 13 Vanak, an irreverent independent arts space in the disused garden shed of an iconic Tehran square. 13 Vanak ran for over two decades, incubating and launching the careers of countless artists.

Ave, who is an accomplished artist himself, serves as both subject and cipher of this presentation, which brings together works by over 30 artists, a unique vantage onto the fascinating – and contested – cultural history of 20th and 21st century Iran.

‘Some seasons: Fereydoun Ave and the Laal Collection, 1959-2019’ was devised before the current uprising in Iran, and commissioned as part of the 58th Carnegie International, which opened in September 2022 at the Carnegie Museum of Art. While this exhibition cannot speak to or about the current state of the Iranian body politic, it can offer uncommon insights into histories of art production and circulation in Iran from the late 1950s to the present – a period marked by both monarchy and theocracy.

‘Some seasons: Fereydoun Ave and the Laal Collection, 1959-2019’ was originally conceived by the Carnegie Museum of Art for the 58th Carnegie International and is curated by Negar Azimi and Sohrab Mohebbi with Talia Heiman.

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