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Ali Asghar Massoumi's Nostalgia Exhibition

By Syma Sayyah, Tehran

Ali Asghar Massoumi's recent exhibition at the Day gallery was very well received even though no pictures had been sold up to the time we were there.  This was probably due to the very high prices that the artist had insisted on.  I found the some of the pictures nice and amazing, but we could not afford any of them even if we were rich. The prices were between 15 to 300 million rials which is roughly $2000-$38000, with an average of 100 million Rials, very substantial sums by any standards.

The only ones I know which come close to these figures are Sohrab Sepehri (among the modern works) and Kamalolmolk (among the old masters); it is interesting that both these artists were born in Kashan.  Since we could not afford any of the works on display, we bought several of the exhibition posters (for 25,000 rials!) which did portray one of the pictures I liked very much, as well as a few sets of 14 prints, mainly of flowers but a few works featured stylized Iranian men and women such as the ones one might see reading books of Hafez poetry.

For me Massoumi's work pleasantly portrays listless women of Ghajar era, who seem not to have anything to do,  I like the art form, but I kept having this feeling that as a hard working modern Iranian woman I should not much approve of the message. Yet there was some clever mischievous in the ladies’ portrays that I could not help to like, even if after all such an approach is dimly nostalgic and far from reality.

Mr. Massoumi was born in 1934 in Kangavar in west of Iran. He is a master of transforming the Persian old miniature into modern works.  His works may be found in Iran at the Contemporary Art Museum in Tehran and in the Kerman Museum as well as many private collections.

You may visit Day gallery at 1060 - ValiAsr Ave. opposite Park Saei, Tehran, Tel. 88700849 or their website at or e-mail them at:  e-mail: 

I have a few pictures from this exhibition for you to enjoy.  Here's hoping one of you can afford one of them!


... Payvand News - 11/8/06 ... --

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