Nature's Renewal at Ronewa Art Projects

April 16, 2024

Nature’s Renewal, a collaboration between O Galley (Tehran) and Ronewa Art Projects (Berlin) is an exhibition of works by six Iranian artists whose works explore the theme of nature/landscape in different ways. A  similar exhibition was originally set to take place in August 2023 at Ronewa Art Projects but was postponed.

The current exhibition will take place during Berlin’s Art Week concurrent with Paper Positions Berlin, where O Gallery will be showcasing different works by two of the artists in this exhibition.

Often times, the representation of “nature” in contemporary art transcends mere aesthetic appreciation.  While a work of art may just be a depiction of nature, it can also be representing various concepts such as social, political, cultural and environmental issues that plague our society. 
Serminaz Barseghian (b. 1987 Tehran) employs a representational approach in her art, capturing three familiar landscapes in splines (stripes), borrowing from her father’s distinguished technique, adding on her own personal touch while wireframing the images on the surface. In these works, ideas of transience are explored both visually and conceptually. Through her meticulous depiction, she challenges traditional notions of accuracy and permanency; inviting viewers to contemplate the fluidity of reality and the uncertainty inherent in images. Her works prompts reflection of the ever-changing nature of perception and the shifting boundaries between what is perceived and what may come to be in the future.
Nature serves as a recurring subject in Aylar Dastgiri’s (b. 1988 Tehran) work. Embracing a more spontaneous and relaxed approach in her digital paintings, she draws primarily from memory, inviting viewers to ponder the interplay between theater and painting. Dastgiri skillfully navigates the transition from the vivacious energy of the stage to the tranquil stillness depicted in her work. While her larger scale paintings mesmerize with spatial illusions that beckon viewers into immersive landscapes, the titles of her works - such as Move Your Eyes, You Are Not Fixed and You Are Standing at an Altitude of 6745 meters - try to create a similar atmosphere to further involve the viewer by fabricating a moment of presence within her creations.
On a parallel artistic journey, Armin Ebrahimi (b. 1984 Tehran) embarks on a departure from traditional representational styles, explores the essence and emotional resonance of landscapes through abstract forms and fragmented brushstrokes. Through his unique approach, he transcends the confines of literal representation and delves into the depths of allegory and symbolism. Ebrahimi’s artworks intertwine personal narratives with broader historical references, evoking a rich tapestry of cultural identities and their accompanying histories. As he navigates between the figurative and the abstract, he blurs the lines between the two, making the separation nearly impossible.
In contrast, Raha Khosroshahi (b. 1997 Tehran), avoids the confines of proposing conceptual frameworks or problem-solving agendas, instead focusing solely on the act of painting. Through a harmonious interplay of forms and complementary color palettes, Khosroshahi crafts progressive works that blend abstract and figurative elements, evoking a sense of familiarity tinged with uncertainty. The artist embraces accidental imprecisions and the layered application of oil, resulting in compositions that serve as visual metaphors, sparking curiosity and inviting viewers to explore their own memories, emotions and reflections.
Maryam Mohry (b. 1979 Tehran) brings forth a multifaceted approach in her art, highlighting her deep-rooted passion for nature and gardening. Whether through expansive drawings with various characters or small woks focused on solitary figures, Mohry seamlessly intertwines storytelling, reverence for nature and environmental advocacy. By employing collage techniques, she further enriches her artistic expression, imbuing her works with layers of depth, texture and a sense of playfulness that captivates and provokes contemplation.
Razieh Sedighian (b. 1986 Tehran) captivates viewers with her masterful manipulation of dots and lines, creating a sense of transcendence beyond the constraints of time and place. Through a minimalist palette dominated by white, blue and black, Sedighian’s enigmatic landscapes hint at the delicate balance and fragility of our natural world. The juxtaposition of never-before-exhibited works from 2008 alongside recent works offers viewers a rare glimpse into the evolution and progression of her artistic journey, inviting reflection on the fluidity of artistic expressions over time.

The works collectively become visual metaphors, not only evoking a sense of curiosity but also inviting the viewers to delve into their own memories, emotions and reflections, contemplating their own perspective and connections to nature.  By layering personal experiences with natural imagery, a rich tapestry is created for introspection and dialogue. This exhibition is the second collaboration between Ronewa Art Projects and O Gallery with the works selected by Orkideh Daroodi. This exhibition not only celebrates the power of artistic expression but also fosters cultural exchange and appreciation across borders.




"Authority Magazine" in conversation with Orkideh Daroodi: Successful Women Founders

November 3, 2023

Introducing O Gallery, Authority Magazine interviewed Orkideh Daroodi around the subject of successful women founders. In this conversation, Daroodi talks about setbacks and advantages of women being entrepreneurs. Sharing her personal experiences, as one of the women gallerists and founders in Iran, she speaks about hardships, capacities, and preventive wrong beliefs along this path.

For more information click here.

"FAB L’STYLE" in conversation with Orkideh Daroodi about Iranian Galleries’ Issues during the Events of Last Year

November 3, 2023

In an interview with “FAB L’STYLE”, Orkideh Daroodi talks about Iranian galleries’ issues during the events of the past year. She openly speaks about the issues and the reasons of O Gallery’s hosting shows during the upheavals last year, covering both sides and point of views on the operation of galleries during that time. Daroodi also talks about the role of galleries in Iranian art society and the importance of physical display of works despite the advancement of virtual presentations during Covid, in addition to Iran’s Contemporary Art in relation to international art market.

For more information click here.

"Kaltblut." in conversation with Orkideh Daroodi on O Gallery and Emerging Artists

October 27, 2023

Kaltblut online magazine introduces O Gallery and today’s art scene during an interview with Orkideh Daroodi. In this interview, Daroodi talks about Iran’s art scene’s issues and potentials, explaining about the reasons behind the gallery’s foundation and its goals, such as fostering emerging talent.

For more information click here.

Photo London Magazine Issue 100: Echoes from Iran

May 16, 2023
To mark the magazine’s first century (100th edition), we wanted to focus on artists from Iran. Not simply because there are more Iranian artists than ever before showing at this year’s Photo London. But also, because Iran is currently witnessing a rolling revolution started by women fighting against injustice and brutal suppression. The artists featured here come both from the diaspora and from Tehran itself and the work we are showcasing takes many different forms. -excerpt from the magazine’s introduction For more information click here.

“Four Things to see at Photo London 2023” - selected by Eddy Frankel of Time Out

May 15, 2023
This year, there’s a special focus on galleries and photographers from Iran, including Tehran’s O Gallery, showing work from the Iranian revolution by Kaveh Kazemi and contemporary street scenes by Mohammedreza Mirzaei. Iran has been in the news constantly since the 1970s, and photography has been integral in telling the story of a nation often caught in turmoil. For more information click here.

“Top 10 Highlights You Must See at Photo London 2023” Joanne Shurvell of Forbes places the presentation by O Gallery amongst the top 10 at 2023 edition of Photo London.

May 15, 2023
“Top 10 Highlights You Must See at Photo London 2023” Joanne Shurvell of Forbes places the presentation by O Gallery amongst the top 10 at 2023 edition of Photo London. A fascinating and important contribution from Tehran-based O Gallery, a platform that supports and displays Iranian artists’ distinct visual experiences. The two street photographers here, Kaveh Kazemi (b. 1952) and Mohammadreza Mirzaei (b. 1986), are two of Iran’s most prominent photographers. Kazemi documented the 1979 revolution and the Iran-Iraq war. Mohammadreza Mirzaei is one of the new generation photographers, who, by studying in the West, has established a critical relationship with mainstream Western photography. For more information click here.

O Gallery at Photo London 2023

May 9, 2023
Established in Tehran in 2014, O Gallery is a platform that supports and displays Iranian artists' distinct visual experiences, emphasizing 'visuality' as a critical tool. For the gallery, ‘form’ is not a mere aesthetic element; it is a characteristic of criticism that, in its ideal state, goes beyond the standardized aesthetic norms and makes the concrete meaning of the works problematic. Where semantic and visual limitations are challenged, 'form' then acquires social relevance. The two photographers selected for the upcoming edition of Photo London, Kaveh Kazemi (b. 1952) and Mohammadreza Mirzaei (b. 1986), are two prominent photographers in contemporary Iranian photography, each of whom is known for different characteristics. Kazemi is known for his brilliant press history, having worked with publications such as Time, Newsweek and the New York Times. He has documented the most important social realities of the country, such as the 1979 revolution and the Iran-Iraq war; and he has created these series with the aesthetics defined by instant and moment. Mohammadreza Mirzaei is one of the photographers of the new generation of Iranian photography, who, by studying in the West, his photographs establish a critical relationship with mainstream Western photography. Active as an art writer and theorist as well, Mirzaei decontextualizes and juxtaposes different photos in his projects. His strategy is to search for intertextual relationships among the entire series. In doing so, he challenges their citational and concrete qualities and gives them a new power. In this presentation, by putting together the works of these two photographers, O Gallery intends to draw attention to 'the similar, yet dissimilar' nature of their work and introduce a new face of contemporary Iranian photography that has received little attention. As we see in Kazemi's photos of the 1979 Iranian revolution and Mirzaei's timeless images, this photography is intensely visual and does not depend on the representation of cultural and historical elements. Instead, through their unique approaches to street photography, these two photographers endeavor to construct their identity through a different photographic language. 11-14 May 2023 Stand E14 Somerset House Strand London, WC2R1LA For more information click here.

O Gallery ‌Is a Member of NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance).

May 7, 2023
Excited to announce that O Gallery is now a member of NADA (New Art Dealers Alliance). About NADA and its mission: Founded in 2002, the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA) is a not-for-profit collective of professionals working with contemporary art. Our mission is to create an open flow of information, support and collaboration to develop a stronger sense of community among our constituency. We believe that the adversarial approach to exhibiting and selling art has run its course. We believe that change can be achieved through fostering constructive thought and dialogue between various points in the art industry from large galleries to small spaces, non-profit and commercial alike. Our international group of members includes both galleries and individuals (art professionals, independent curators, and established gallery directors.) We believe in a spirit of friendly competition and the power of working collectively to gain access to resources and to provide services to artists and the public that we could not as individuals. To date, our initiatives have succeeded on two fronts: making contemporary art more accessible for the general public, and creating opportunities that nurture the growth of emerging artists, curators, and galleries. The New Art Dealers Alliance is a not-for-profit organization, registered in the State of New York. Gallery Membership is by invitation only, following nomination by an existing member and approval by the Board.

O Gallery at Paper Positions Berlin 2023

April 24, 2023
O Gallery is pleased to announce its participation at Paper Positions Berlin 2023 with a trio presentation of works on paper by Mojtaba Amini, Raha Khosroshahi and Farzad Majidi. From April 27 – 30 2023, during the Berlin Gallery Weekend, the seventh edition of Paper PositionsBerlin presents 56 international galleries from 12 countries with their outstanding positions from contemporary and modern art with a focus on drawing and the material paper.

Financial Times: Ripping apart art: Iran's cultural world strained by protest and politics

February 16, 2023
Daroodi, who was also conscious of the running costs of her premises, said she believed her decision to reopen had been justified. "The gallery as we knew it before doesn't exist anymore and artists are becoming more creative. Conversations have changed - as if the gallery has turned into a new refuge for artists," she said. "It is the atmosphere that matters now, not necessarily what's hung on the walls. Why should we deprive ourselves of the few private safe spaces left to gather and talk about art and everything else?" Other venues are expected to start holding exhibitions after the Persian New Year holiday in March. "Most artists quietly tell us to reopen but they're not sure if they want to have solo exhibitions yet,” another gallery owner said. The atmosphere in Tehran is now calmer than at the height of the protests, although a sense of gloom has set in. Yet acts of political resistance have continued. One O Gallery artist decided that, instead of selling her works, visitors could instead tear them to pieces as a way to release their anger. "Other gallery owners that have not yet publicly opened their spaces know they need a different approach but they don't have a solution on how to go on without being accused of normalizing events," she said. "But what seems certain is that there can no longer be exhibitions just for the sake of exhibitions - at least for the foreseeable future."

The Nature of Curating

February 22, 2017
Curating and the role of the curator is one of the major issues in the contemporary art field. 3 days of workshop under the guidance of media artist Shahram Entekhabi including screening of recordings of talks with international curators with Farsi subtitles followed by discussions Date and Hours: Wednesday March 1st: 6-9 PM /Thursday March 2nd: 2-5 PM/ Friday March 3rd: 2-5 PM @OGalleryTehran The Nature of Curating In Iran, the art galleries are almost the only functioning model of exhibition practice. A contemporary non-profit institutional system is hardly existing as well as curatorial studies. Art that is "hard to sell" – ephemeral forms, video art, installation art and performance – exist but hardly find a place of discussion. "The Nature of Curating" challenges the subject of curating in relation with aesthetic, social, political and philosophical contemporary application. And also, questions the differences between the contemporary art and the exhibition practice in Iran. "The Nature of Curating" aims to create an awareness of the importance and the necessity of a curatorial engagement. It presents various interviews with a wide range of international curators with different backgrounds and perspectives, asking fundamental questions about curating and the importance of the role of a curator as well as their views on nationalization of contemporary art, and using alternative spaces and many more questions that we found relevant to the Iranian art scene today. Below is the list of the interviewees that will be seen and discussed during the workshop: - René Block- Gallerist, curator, and collector, former director of the Fridericianum, Kassel. - Mark Gisbourne - Curator, critic, a former tutor and lecturer at University of London, Slade School of Fine Art, London, and Manchester University. - Adrienne Goehler - Curator, publicist, former Senator for Science, Research and Culture in Berlin and one of Europe's foremost cultural debaters. - Erika Hoffmann-Koenige- Art collector. - Alexander Koch- Gallerist, curator, theorist.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Gallerists, but … Farsi Version Available Now

December 6, 2014
The Farsi version of "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Gallerists But Were Afraid to Ask" will be available to purchase at the gallery, starting on Friday, December 12 2014. Written by Andrea Bellini and translated by Orkideh Daroodi, the book has been published in Iran by Nazar Art Publication and will be released nationwide on the Saturday after.