Parviz Tanavoli

Parviz Tanavoli was born in Tehran, Iran in 1937. After graduating from Tehran’s School of Fine Arts, he completed a degree at the Brera Academy in Milan. Tanavoli then immigrated to the US where he taught sculpture at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design for three years. The artist confirmed his role as an Iranian cultural leader when he went back to his home country and assumed the directorial position in the Sculpture Department at the University of Tehran. Tanavoli’s sculpture conveys his fascination with locks and the limits and barriers that they create. His works often create a complex interspatial relationship between their elements and such spatial tensions have become a trademark of his work. By continuing to work in sculpture, Tanavoli is often celebrated for reviving the seemingly dying medium of the Iranian three-dimensional tradition. His greatest artistic achievement is considered to be the Wall of Iran bronze series that are articulated with a complex alphabetic mixture between Arabic and Persian. The series thus conveys a universal artistic message that is unrestrained by limitation and the prejudice of language. Tanavoli currently resides in Vancouver, Canada. His works can be found in the collection of the MoMA, the British Museum, the Olympic Park in Seoul, the Tehran Museum of Modern Art, the Nelson Rockefeller Collection and other respected institutions.