Pioneers of New Painting in Iran

Event Date: 

Thursday, October 29, 2020 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

Pioneers of New Painting in Iran

Dr. Alice Bombardier

Thursday, October 29, 12.30 PM (PST)

Zoom Webinar

Free Registration:

The Iranian Studies Initiative at UCSB invites you to Pioneers of New Painting in Iran, a lecture by Dr. Alice Bombardier. This event is a part of a lecture series on Iranian Modern and Contemporary Art, which will be held during the academic year 2020-2021. 

In Pioneers of New Painting in Iran, Dr. Bombardier will present little-known Iranian artists who developed the practice of New Painting in mid-twentieth century Iran. Facing a centuries-old pictorial heritage, they took advantage of the tumultuous 1940s to give birth to an innovative pictorial style, locally called “New Painting.” Thanks to the “transgressions” of these young artists who invented new artistic and social practices (such as the use of pure acrylic colors, outdoor painting, the principle of public exhibition, and artistic collective associations), the profession of artist in contemporary Iran evolved. Yet, many forms of resistance also arose including lawsuits, censorship, vandalism, as well as bans on publishing their periodicals. Paradoxically, even today their heritage remains obscured. Dr. Bombardier will perform an anamnesis (remembering of the past) of this forgotten history, based on her book entitled Les pionniers de la Nouvelle Peinture en Iran. Œuvres méconnues, activités novatrices et scandales au tournant des années 1940 (Bern, Peter Lang, 2017).


The lecture will be followed by a Q & A session moderated by Mohammadreza Mirzaei (UCSB, Department of History of Art and Architecture).


Alice Bombardier is a specialist in modern and contemporary Iranian painting. She is currently a researcher at CERMOM in Paris (National Institute of Oriental Languages and Civilizations, INALCO-Paris). In 2012, she received her PhD on Iranian painting and painters from Geneva University and EHESS-Paris. Her latest publications include Les pionniers de la Nouvelle peinture en Iran: Œuvres méconnues, activités novatrices et scandales au tournant des années 1940 (Peter Lang, Bern, 2017) and “The Pioneers of New Painting in Iran: a Manifesto of a Forgotten History”, Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, vol. 13, issue 1, May 2020.

Mohammadreza Mirzaei is an artist, art writer and fourth-year Ph.D student in the History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara. Mirzaei’s essays and reviews appeared in such journals as Herfeh: Honarmand, Kaarnamaa, and Tandis. His research focuses on postwar Iranian art, with special attention to the practice of Bahman Mohassess and the relationship between Iranian and Italian art scenes.

The event's poster is designed by Shahab Tondar.