Frist Art Museum Presents Shahpour Pouyan: Winter in Paradise

The Frist Art Museum in Nashville will showcase a multimedia exhibition by Iranian artist Shahpour Pouyan from May 30 to August 25, 2024.

Shahpour Pouyan: Winter in Paradise, a multimedia exhibition featuring architectural drawings, ceramic sculptures, and a new virtual reality experience, will be on view at the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee, from May 30 through August 25, 2024. Organized by the Frist Art Museum, the exhibition is the largest solo museum show to date for Iranian artist Shahpour Pouyan.

Born in Iran in 1979, Pouyan now divides his time between Tehran and London. His work is in the permanent collections of the British Museum, Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Victoria and Albert Museum. The exhibition, conceived as a triptych in three galleries, explores the architecture of power and its fragmentation and destruction through three major projects from the past decade.

The earliest works in the exhibition, Monday Recollections of the Muqarnas Dome, comprise 39 drawings of the Imam al-Dawr, an eleventh-century tomb monument in Iraq that was destroyed by the Islamic State group in 2014. Pouyan’s ceramic sculptures, which have been the focus of his practice since 2014, include reincarnations of the Imam al-Dawr and uninviting buildings representing architectural motifs in Islamic, fascist, and brutalist styles.

The VR installation, titled Winter in Paradise, is an immersive multisensory experience that invites viewers to explore the interior of a vast, well-preserved eleventh-century Persian mosque. Pouyan collaborated with artist and filmmaker Siavash Naghshbandi and musician Saba Alizadeh to realize the various components of this installation.

The Frist Art Museum received the 2022 Ellsworth Kelly Award, which enabled Pouyan to realize this project. The exhibition is supported in part by The Ellsworth Kelly Award, made possible by The Ellsworth Kelly Foundation and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, with additional support from Blevins, Inc., Clay Blevins, the Gordon CAP Gallery Fund, and the Friends of Contemporary Art.

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