If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

Parviz Tanavoli

This video brought to you by Tate.org.uk

Parviz Tanavoli is a pioneering figure of contemporary Iranian art, blending Persian traditions and modern sculpture. Here, the artist talks about his 1975 work Disciples of Sheikh San'an – a woollen rug blending colourful, poppy imagery with traditional techniques – and its related screen prints. Tanavoli’s practice, developed throughout the 1960s and 1970s, is characterised by the incorporation of traditional Persian techniques, notably everyday crafts found in the blacksmiths, foundries and workshops of Tehran, and traditional subjects such as popular love stories from Persian poetry.  His series of screenprints celebrate Persian myths and symbols through a modern visual language.

While he never considered himself a pop artist, Tanavoli worked contemporaneously with pop In the '60s, and other artists saw him as part of the movement. For Tanavoli, "pop art" referred to a universal movement across countries and boundaries. Does an artist really get to choose which movement he or she once belonged to, or is it up to historians to look back and determine the course of art history?
Created by Tate.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

I haven't seen it at least for six or seven years before I shipped it here it was hanging idea in my studio or spread on the floor of my my house I started making out in about late 60s when I was collecting drugs I was meeting also the tribal people that we were and I was fascinated by your job these are okay to walk on I mean of course the museum you don't do that but these are tough crowd they are from a period that I was very hungry for colors I I mean the bronze didn't satisfied me is colorless and I definitely wanted to do color art and screen prints paintings and rugs they kind of made up order for that the good thing about the tribal beavers is they don't follow exactly your colors or your you know your patterns and they make some some changes according to their own own feelings I think this is a collaboration between the two two artists or one artists and craftsmen executors and I'd like this collaboration and that's why I come something different they inject their spirit there are into a rock we inject this the rugby world must know everything from the beginning and not by not this was woven mother and a daughter and it was not easy to give them a drawing because the tribal women they cannot read the drawings but they want something a bigger scale this is very different than what they do traditionally and that's why I got into color screen please without the screen prints it was not possible to do it's like a family when they are all together they look good together my very main team is poet and you see a few of them here Iranian are very much follower of the poets this is a part of the daily life culture I mean every conversation there is a rare short work of Boise 19 year is the companion of the poet because point is up all night and Nightingale is up on nitin give scenes for the rose and court right for the beloved I was picking of a subject a traditional Suffolk and but expressing it completely differently away from all the tradition that one also is a traditional subject they say about the mountain just like Romeo and Juliet of Iran here I have SAT him on a chair squeezing lemon I'd nothing else and here my nightingale cannot sing because as a lock on speak and so that's the kind of thing I like to play with I think I was very fortunate that yeah i was born in a country that was so rich in art in unemployed tree they became like my my tools i have always been interested about the social and political life of the country i leave my country Iran but it's not direct my interpretation is not direct people cannot read three but there was I mean putting a lock on the nightingale big of course it's not too different than putting a lock on humans well I'm glad I'm glad I sorry oh here is my last name I seldom use my last name but here is stunna will you yeah that's odd I I had forgotten about it haha that's a good thing you discover something you