Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian

In Tehran, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian reigns as the doyenne of contemporary Iranian art.

Retirement has little attraction for Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian, the 93-year-old grande dame of Iranian contemporary art. At her Tehran studio, she leads a small team of men who help her to design and construct her mirror mosaic sculptures, many of which are now in the permanent collections of arts institutions worldwide, such as The Guggenheim in New York City and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. She has a diverse oeuvre—drawing, textiles, jewelry, collages, memory boxes and even pieces done with the help of honeybees. But Farmanfarmaian is most lauded for her singular neo-traditionalist innovations of a centuries-old Iranian artistic practice in which tiny pieces of glass, some colored by hand, are set together onto plaster in predetermined geometric patterns. The resul...

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