Shirin Neshat: Facing History

Shirin Neshat: Facing History presents an array of Shirin Neshat’s most compelling works, illuminating the points at which cultural and political events have impacted her artistic practice.

In her mesmerizing films and photographs, Shirin Neshat (Iranian-American, b. Qazvin, 1957) examines the nuances of power and identity in the Islamic world—particularly in her native country of Iran, where she lived until 1975.


Included are the “Women of Allah” photographs that catapulted the artist to international acclaim in the 1990s; lyrical video installations, which immerse the viewer in imagery and sound; and two monumental series of photographs, The Book of Kings, 2012, and Our House Is on Fire, 2013, created in the wake of the Green Movement and the Arab Spring.

Commenting on freedom and loss, Neshat’s deeply humanistic art is at once personal, political, and allegorical.
(press release from

“Facing History” runs through September 20, 2015. At Hirshhorn Museum at the Smithsonian located at Independence Avenue at Seventh Street SW 

Iranian Artist Makes History At Guggenheim

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian is the first Iranian artist to have a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum.


In the early 1950s, Monir would dream about one day showing her artwork the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Now 92, she a renowned Iranian visual artist known for her geometric style and mirror sculptures. Last week, she became the first Iranian artist to have her work featured in a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim.

Farmanfarmaian was born in Qazvin, Iran, in 1924. Farmanfarmaian pursued art in school, studying both in Iran at the Fine Arts College at the University of Tehran, and in the United States at Cornell University and Parson’s School of Design.


Living in New York in the 1950s, she was exposed to and ultimately absorbed by the city’s thriving art scene. She and Andy Warhol bonded over their jobs as fashion illustrators at the time, became friends, and even exchanged their artwork. In 1957, Farmanfarmaian got married and returned to Iran, where she began collecting and showing local folk art.

Infinite Possibility: Mirror Works and Drawings 1974–2014 runs until June 3.