'Breakfast in Tehran', Janet Rady Fine Art at Frameless Gallery, London


Breakfast in Tehran shows work from both male and female Iranian artists who all share a desire to explore the representation of contemporary Iranian women, but vary aesthetically and politically in their approaches to this representation. The artworks in Breakfast in Tehran have been selected as an attempt to subvert the accepted representation of women in Iran and to examine the process of its construction. In an increasingly international age, these artists produce work that not only confronts the patriarchal establishment of Iran but also that of Western liberalism and the international art market.


Breakfast in Tehran: Contemporary Iranian Women    13 – 26 June 2011

Janet Rady Fine Art @ Frameless Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DP


Azadeh Akhlaghi, Navid Azimi, Majid Koorang Beheshti, Taha Heydari, Khosro Khosravi, Azadeh Madani, Saba Masoumian, Kourosh Salehi, Atefe Samaei and Rozita Sharafjahan


Breakfast in Tehran will be a chance to see a selection of drawings, collage, photography, video and printmaking from a group of new and established Iranian artists living in Iran and exhibiting in London together for the first time. The exhibition considers the representation of women in contemporary Iranian art, and demonstrates how accepted images and interpretations of femininity are being subverted.


Since the Islamic Revolution, images of turbaned mullahs, ayatollahs and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad present Iran as an extreme patriarchy whose narratives are shaped and written solely by religious men. We occasionally hear stories in the media of a few prominent Iranian women like lawyer Shirin Ebadi, writer Marjane Satrapi, or the artist Shirin Neshat, but of the millions of women who live in Iran we hear very little. What does this silence hide about the lives of this quietened mass of humanity?

Everywhere in Iran women are active and visible, apparent and hidden. Perhaps they are walking or driving along the teeming city streets or quiet country lanes, looking out of the window of a high-rise apartment at the street below, or bargaining in a shop, or petitioning in the courts, or just sitting down to smoke a cigarette after breakfast in their homes. Breakfast in Tehran presents work by male and female Iranian artists, each depicting the predicament of women in contemporary Iran.


These depictions aim neither to play to the standard ‘western’ idea of them as totally oppressed, nor claim that they are more liberated than we realise. Instead the exhibition acknowledges their unique situation where centuries of strictly defined roles, combined with decades of the Islamic Republic operating on a globalised stage have resulted in a strangely paradoxical environment. Women are active in all levels of society and the traditional roles of ‘wife’ and ‘mother’ are only a part of the lives of many women. The Iranian feminist movement has been politically and socially engaged for some years, and visual artists are now bringing this activism into the cultural arena and changing and subverting the traditional representation of women in Iran.



Notes for Editors

  • This exhibition is co-curated by Aras Amiri and David Gleeson, who curated the successful show From Tehran to London at Jill George Gallery in Soho, London last year (20 May – 26 June 2010). Aras Amiri is a curator from northern Iran who currently lives and works in London. David Gleeson is an independent curator, freelance writer, art critic and media consultant who is based in central London.
  • JRFA Director and curator Janet Rady is based between London and the United Arab Emirates, and is a specialist in Contemporary Middle Eastern Art with over twenty years’ experience of the International Art Market. She has a Masters Degree in Islamic Art History from the University of Melbourne and a BA from the School of Oriental And African Studies in London. www.janetradyfineart.com
  • The exhibition Breakfast in Tehran is a collaboration between the curators, Janet Rady and Tehran’s Azad Gallery. www.azadartgallery.com
  • The private view of this exhibition will be at the gallery on Thursday 16 June, 6.30-8.30pm. Music by Pouya Mahmoodi and Omid Amiri Larijani.
  • The curators will give free exhibition talks on Saturday afternoons at 3pm (18 and 25 June)
  • Frameless Gallery is opposite the Old Sessions House on Clerkenwell Green and just a short walk from Farringdon tube station www.framelessgallery.com



Listings info


Breakfast in Tehran

Janet Rady Fine Art @ Frameless Gallery, 20 Clerkenwell Green, London, EC1R 0DP

13-26 June 2011

Open 11am-7pm Monday-Friday, 10.30am-5pm Saturday, Sunday

Admission free

Contact: 07957284370   www.janetradyfineart.com janet@janetradyfineart.com

Nearest tube: Farringdon

Buses: 55, 63, 153, 243