Home to one of the greatest collections of Western art outside Europe and America, the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art is somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for many years.
I lucked out by being able to see major modernist works which had been kept away from public eye in the basement for decades. They were meant to travel to Berlin and Rome, the first time this had ever been allowed. Travel permits weren’t issued in time though, and there was legal risk from the family of the last Shah (under whose regime the collection was assembled).
So I got to be a rare Westerner able to see this amazing collection, housed in a rather stylish gallery.
The first painting that really caught my eye was this huge Picasso, more than 2m square.
Nearby was an unusual Kandinsky, with beautiful colours.
As a fan of Mark Rothko these two paintings were a treat.
But not as much as this stunning Jackson Pollock, the highlight of the collection for me, though doesn’t really come across well in a photograph.
Pop art was well represented with a pair of Andy Warhol’s.
There were also three typically brooding and expressive Francis Bacon’s, love the brushwork.
Couple of other British artists, a Gilbert and George (a relatively tame one by their standards) and a Henry Moore sculpture.
The exhibition mixes Western and Iranian artists to good effect, here were some of my favourite Iranian works.