Shahpour Pouyan (b. 1979, Iran) is an internationally recognised artist whose work comments on power, domination and political issues through poetic visual forms. The artist brings historical aesthetics and mediums to his contemporary art practice by, for example, reinventing chainmail and painstakingly replicating Persian miniatures. His work does not announce a political agenda; instead, he grapples with historical documents and the human condition, which act as sources of inspiration for his varied output. His recent works and projects are influenced by science, archaeology, and the poetry of architectural forms that bridge past and present.

Pouyan’s work is informed by his extensive experience, mastering multiple degrees and artistic practices. He graduated with an MFA in Integrated Practices and New Forms at Pratt Institute, New York, and a MFA in Painting from the Tehran University of Art. Pouyan previously studied Neoplatonic Philosophy at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy and received a diploma in Math and Physics from Elmieh School, Tehran. In addition, between 2007 and 2009, he taught art history and the history of Persian Architecture at Science and Culture University, Tehran.

He has participated in the Lahore Biennial in Pakistan, the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, the British Museum in London, and the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi Island. In 2016, Pouyan was shortlisted for the Victoria and Albert Museum Prize, London, and was awarded the Civitella Ranieri Fellowship for Visual Arts in Umbria, Italy. He has participated in several international residencies, including International Cite Des Arts, Paris, the Pegasus Art Foundation, Hyderabad, India, and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, NY, USA, in March 2014.

Selected Exhibitions

Asia Society Museum, New York City, USA (2022); The Grey Art Gallery, New York City, USA (2022); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent, Belgium (2021); Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK (2021); Nathalie Obadiah Gallery, Brussels, Belgium (2021); Keramiek Museum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, Netherlands (2021); Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent, Belgium (2020); Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey (2020); Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, UAE (2020);  Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France (2019); Barbara Walters Gallery, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY (2019); Jane Lombard Gallery, New York City, (2019); MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Canada (2019); REDCAT, Los Angles, USA (2018); Copperfield Gallery, London, U.K (2018); The Armory Show, New York City, USA (2018); Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E. (2017); Copperfield Gallery, London, U.K. (2015); Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E. (2014) and Sixty Six Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran (2010).

Selected Collections

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum, The Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, The Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, New York, Cornell University, New York.


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