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Parviz Tanavoli: 'I was born in a country so rich in art and poetry'

This short film follows contemporary Iranian artist Parviz Tanavoli as he visits Britain in preparation for his work being shown as part of the 2015 exhibition The World Goes Pop

Parviz Tanavoli is a pioneering figure of contemporary Iranian art, blending Persian traditions and modern sculpture. The artist talks about his 1975 work Disciples of Sheikh San'an, a woollen rug made with traditional techniques and its related screenprints. Tanavoli’s practice, developed throughout the 1960s and 1970s, is characterised by the incorporation of traditional Persian techniques, notably everyday crafts found in the blacksmiths, foundries and workshops of Tehran, and traditional subjects such as popular love stories from Persian poetry. His series of screenprints celebrate Persian myths and symbols through a modernist visual language. Many of his works pay tribute to the legendary love story of Farhad, the only sculptor mentioned in classical Persian poetry, who challenged the Sassanian King Khosrow Parviz, his rival for the hand of the beloved princess Shirin. Tanavoli reinterprets, throughout his works, this poetic legend as well as icons found in Shiite folk art, such as the cage, the lion, the lock and the bird, using geometric forms and new mediums.

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