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The silent brush: Selected Works of Prominent Contemporary Artists from Iran

This exhibition is not just a collection of important and beautiful works of art by some of Iran's most talented and prominent artists, but it is also a reflection of both Iran's and the United State's desire to be involved in cultural exchange. In the twenty years following the Islamic Revolution, no collection this large or of this quality has ever traveled outside of Iran.

Most of the credit for making this exhibition possible must be given to thethree galleries in Tehran that collaborated in bringing the art to the United States: Aria Gallery, Vali Gallery, Nour Gallery.

With Aria Eghbal's leadership (Aria Gallery), the three galleries worked for months to curate a collection of 150 paintings and works on paper. The first presentation was made at the New York ArtExpo in March 2000. In April 2000, the exhibition opened at the Center for Iranian Modern Art in New York.

Due to a generous sponsorship by Chevron Corporation, this collection of contemporary art was able to travel to Washington DC. It brings me sincere pleasure and a feeling of gratification to have this exhibition housed at the Atrium Gallery in the Ronald Reagan Trade Center in Washington DC.

There are also two acknowledgments to be made in the development of this exhibition. Saghar Barzmehri, a graphic designer, is the Coordinator of Evolving Perceptions, an artist based organization committed to Iranian and Iranian-American artists in Washington DC.

After a trip to Iran in 1999, Saghar was determined to bring this exhibition to Washington DC. Through her help as well as the help of countless individuals ,the Ganbari family, Reza Akhavan, Sayeh Behnam, Aylene Fallah, and Jahangir Golanbari, The Silent Brush has finally arrived.

Aisha D. Davis of DESHO Productions believed in the importance of this exhibition and committed herself to helping make this exhibition a reality. Her relentless commitment and endless hours of discussions with Chevron Corporation and the Ronald Reagan Trade Center allowed for the publication of this catalogue and the installation of this exhibit, The Silent Brush.

Through the opening of Gallery Ovissi, the only gallery that specializes in contemporary Iranian art in the United States, I have made a personal commitment to the promotion and education of Iranian contemporary artists. I have also involved myself in the world of art as a way to educate my community about Iran and Iranians.

I hope in the near future we will be able to take an exhibition from the United States to Iran and create artist exchange and travel study programs. Artists speak a universal language. The artists of Iran and the United States have the unique power to begin the communication process between two countries who once were enemies. I believe The Silent Brush is the manifestation of this burgeoning dialogue.

Maryam Ovissi
Gallery Ovissi, Emeryville, California


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