1940s Modernism of Iran: Analytical Study and Introduction to Iranian Female Artists

Proceedings of The 5th International Conference on Future of Social Sciences

Year: 2023

DOI: https://www.doi.org/10.33422/5th.icfss.2023.03.101


1940s Modernism of Iran: Analytical Study and Introduction to Iranian Female Artists

Reihaneh Hosseini




After his enthronement in 1941, Mohammad Reza Shah, the second Pahlavi king, began advocating and endorsing Western modernist ideologies and principles in Iran, and his aim was to expose the social and cultural hemisphere of the Iranian society to a set of new currents that would later result in the country’s advancement and progression. The strengthened Iranian-Western relations of the time created a diverse range of opportunities and possibilities for modern art to take the initiative introductory steps in the Iranian art venue. However, in comparison to the previous eras, the female presence was acknowledged. The author aims to study the reaction and approach of Iranian artists, especially Iranian female artists, to this new exposure. In this regard, certain questions are set to be answered through this research: 1- How was modernism introduced to the Iranian art venue?, 2- How did Iranian artists, specifically female artists, approach modernism?, and 3- How did Mohammad Reza Shah’s modernization attempts give exposure to female artists? To answer the former questions, the author aims to use the qualitative descriptive-analytical research method through the study of historical and theoretical literary works in English and Persian and recorded visual documents of the said period collected from libraries in Tehran and other open resources.

keywords:Contemporary Art; Modernity; Neo-traditionalism; Pahlavi-era; Women