UPPER EAST SIDE — More than 100 works by 26 Iranian modern artists are coming to the Asia Society in what museum officials are calling "the first major international loan exhibition" of the art.
The exhibition hopes to illuminate "Iran’s little known pre-Islamic Revolution era when Tehran was a cosmopolitan art center," officials said in a statement.
The show will be organized by several themes.
There's "Saqqakhaneh," which looks at how Iranian folk art and culture influenced a "neotraditional style. The exhibit — which includes loans from public and private collections —will also feature abstract and calligraphy art "with a monographic focus on selected artists within each section."
For context, there's also an archive room including "primary source documents, posters, ephemera and a timeline of key political and cultural events."
The featured artists include Siah Armajani, who designed the 1996 Olympics flame-holder.
Iranian-born Armajani also designed a lighthouse and bridge at St. George's ferry terminal on Staten Island, according to the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Asia Society Museum Director Melissa Chiu said that "Iran Modern" plays an important part in art history education.
“To understand contemporary Iranian art, one must understand this period when artists laid the foundations for modernism,” Chiu said in a statement.
“Against the backdrop of the current global political climate, exhibitions like 'Iran Modern' are essential to fostering a better understanding of Iran’s history."