In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art


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In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art is filled with vibrant examples of painting, photography, sculpture, video, and other media and reveals how Iran’s leading artists weave the country’s past into the fabric of its contemporary art. The catalogue’s innovative design augments its exploration of temporal fluidity: the essays and reproductions are bound separately, allowing readers to create unique pairings and juxtapositions between texts and images.

The past is a continuous and inescapable part of Iranian art and culture, and examples dating from the 1970s to the present—a time of turmoil and political upheaval are seen here. Featuring a dizzying variety of works—from paintings and photography to political cartoons and posters—this volume shows how contemporary artists appropriate and recontextualize myth and history to tell powerful new stories about life in Iran.

This book also explores how pre-Modern artists first began to manipulate time by visually shifting the past into the present as demonstrated by Persian miniature painting, in particular illustrated versions of the Shahnama, or Book of Kings, the Iranian national epic. Statements from prominent contemporary artists consider the creative means by which they evoke the past to address present-day social and political concerns. Designed to promote fluid movement between historical and modern, this wide-ranging book offers a unique and important exploration of a country with a rich and complicated heritage.

This publication is issued on the occasion of the exhibition In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art from May 6 through September 9, 2018. Written by Linda Komaroff with contributions from Sheila R. Canby, Sheida Dayani, Hamid Keshmirshekan, Hani Khafipour, Vali Mahlouji, Shabnam Rahimi-Golkhandan, Shadishafiel Javadi, and Sandra Williams.

- Hardboard, opens up in 2 directions
- 208 pages, 8.6 x 11.8 x  0.9 inch
- 180 color illustrations
- 2018

SKU: 36514

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