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Aside from the multitude of ancient archaeological sites and architectural delights, which tourists are usually drawn to during a visit to Iran, the country also has a huge amount to offer in way of modern and contemporary art. Located across the capital are several wonderful galleries and cultural centres that are well worth the visit for anybody interested in arts and culture. Here is a guide to nine of the best galleries in Tehran, Iran.
The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, also known as TMoCA, is one of the largest galleries in Iran and houses a large collection of both Iranian and international works. Included in the museum’s collection are works by Picasso, Matisse, Van Gogh, Dalí, Bacon, Pollock, Monet, Munch, Moore and Warhol, among many others. The museum is located within the serene grounds of Laleh Park, a calm in the storm of Tehran’s bustling streets.
Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 8898 9374
Founded by Ehsan Rasoulof in 2010, the Mohsen Gallery is one of the leading contemporary art galleries in Tehran. The gallery represents a diverse and international group of artists specializing in practices such as painting, sculpture, photography and video. Renovated in 2015, the building houses two exhibition spaces, which over the past six years, have exhibited more than 200 solo and group shows and 140 events.
Mohsen Gallery, Mina Boulevard, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 2225 5354
The Iranian Artists Forum is much more than just an art gallery. Located in Tehran’s ‘Artists Park’ on Iranshahr Street, the Iranian Artists Forum is an artistic and cultural complex housing visual arts galleries, theatres and movie halls. It has become something of a hub for young people in the arts community, who frequent its grounds regularly to meet other like-minded young people, enjoy works of art and dine at the restaurant.
Iranian Artists Forum, Tehran, Iran, +98 21 8831 0457
In addition to supporting young Iranian artistic talents, Dastan’s Basement also regularly hosts documentary film screenings and book launches. It dedicates many efforts to research and education on Iranian visual arts. Also located within walking distance is Dastan+2, a sister gallery that also exhibits work from the country’s emerging artists.
Dastan Gallery, Bidar Street, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 2202 3114
Established in 1999, Assar Art Gallery hosts a large collection of modern and contemporary Iranian art and plays a crucial role in the Tehran art scene. As one of Tehran’s leading galleries, Assar regularly represents some of Iran’s most notable emerging artists. The gallery is also known for its presence at international art fairs, promoting contemporary Iranian art and showcasing selected works to a wider audience.
Assar Art Gallery, Barforooshan Street, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 8832 6689
The Seyhoun Art Gallery has successfully held over 1,200 exhibitions across a diverse set of practices including sculpture, painting, photography, video, graphics and digital arts. Established in 1966, the gallery is one of the pioneers in exhibiting modern Iranian art and encouraging the talents of Iranian artists.
Seyhoun Art Gallery, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 8871 1305
Opened in the fall of 2014, O Gallery is located in central Tehran and has increasingly become one of the most popular and most frequented galleries in Tehran. O Gallery aims to introduce and further establish emerging young Iranian artists and works closely with curators and leading intellectuals in the field to present exhibitions that reflect the culture and attitudes of its artists.
O Gallery, Khosrow Alley, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 8892 2028
With branches in both Tehran and New York, the Shirin Art Gallery plays a pivotal role in introducing Iranian contemporary art to the Western market and in challenging international misconceptions about Middle Eastern Art. The Tehran branch opened in 2005 with the New York space following suit in 2013 in the prestigious Chelsea Gallery District.
Shirin Art Gallery, 13th Street, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 8834 3969
‘Rooberoo’ translates to ‘face-to-face’ in English, a word that encompasses the philosophy of this art and cultural centre quite well. RooBeRoo Mansion believes in the importance of artists from all over the world interacting with one another and engaging in dialogue in order to evolve and create a better future for art. The mansion, which is one of the oldest in the Vali-e-Asr district in central Tehran, houses an art gallery, a performing platform, a bookstore and a rooftop cafe.
RooBeRoo Mansion, Enghelab Street, Tehran, Tehran Province, Iran, +98 21 6640 4230