Born in 1924 in the ancient Persian city of Qazvin, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian spent her childhood in a grand old house replete with stained glass, wall paintings and nightingales. Coming of age during World War II, she left occupied Iran and audaciously set out for New York, where she was quickly absorbed into the city's thriving avant garde. In the decades to follow, during successive exiles in Tehran and New York, Farmanfarmaian developed an intuitive yet painstakingly crafted artistic practice in mirror mosaic and reverse-painted glass that weds the cosmic patterning of her Iranian heritage with the rhythms of modern Western geometric abstraction. This book is the first substantial survey of Farmanfarmaian's acclaimed geometric works, and features an in-depth interview by Hans Ulrich Obrist; critical essays by Nader Ardalan, Media Farzin and Eleanor Sims; warm tributes by Farmanfarmaian's friends Etel Adnan, Siah Armajani, caraballo-farman, Golnaz Fathi, Hadi Hazavei, Susan Hefuna, Aziz Isham, Rose Issa, Faryar Javaherian, Abbas Kiarostami, Shirin Neshat, Donna Stein and Frank Stella; an excerpt from The Sense of Unity: The Sufi Tradition in Persian Architecture by Nader Ardalan and Laleh Bakhtiar (1973); and an annotated timeline of Farmanfarmaian's life by Negar Azimi.
"A role model for the artist of the twenty-first century." -Hans Ulrich Obrist
Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian studied at Cornell University, Parsons School of Design and the Fine Arts College at Tehran University. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Grey Art Gallery, NY; Galerie Denise Rene, Paris and NY; Leighton House Museum, London; Haus der Kunst, Munich; 29th Bienal de Sao Paulo; The Third Line, Dubai; and the Venice Biennale (1958 and 2009). Farmanfarmaian's major commissioned installations include work for the Queensland Art Museum (2009), the Victoria & Albert Museum's Jameel Collection (2006), the Dag Hammerskjod building, NY (1981) and the Niyavaran Cultural Center (1977-78), as well as acquisitions by the Metropolitan, NY, The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo.