InstitutionsArtists 06-02-2017

See all the works featured at MoMA’s anti-Trump rehang

The Museum of Modern Art in New York has shown its contempt for President Trump’s heavily criticized executive order — which bans citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the United States — by installing 12 works by artists from those countries. The controversial order, which was issued on January 27 and has since been blocked by a Seattle federal judge, was met with widespread protests across the country.

MoMA’s rehang of its permanent collection with work by artists from the affected countries represents one of the strongest protests against the ban by a major cultural institution. The new artworks installed in MoMA’s fifth-floor galleries replace hallmarks of the permanent collection by Picasso, Matisse and Picabia, among others. The rehang is one of the extremely rare occasions on which MoMA has disrupted its consecrated narrative of Western Modernism before 1945. Each of the 12 works is accompanied by a placard that reads: “This work is by an artist from a nation whose citizens are being denied entry into the United States, according to a presidential executive order issued on January 27, 2017. This is one of several such artworks from the Museum’s collection installed throughout the fifth-floor galleries to affirm the ideals of welcome and freedom as vital to this Museum, as they are to the United States.” Here are the artists featured in MoMA’s initiative:

Ibrahim el-Salahi

Ibrahim el-Salahi, The Mosque. (1964) Courtesy of the MoMA.

Hailing from Sudan, el-Salahi is considered one of the towering figures of African Modernism. His 1964 painting The Mosque by has been hung alongside works by Picasso and Braque, who looked to African art as they pioneered Cubism in the early 20th century.  


Zaha Hadid

Zaha Hadid, The Peak Project, Hong Kong, China. (1991) Courtesy of the MoMA.

The late architect, who died last March aged 65, became the first woman, and first Iraqi, to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004. Her 1991 painting The Peak Project, which refers back to her winning, unrealized design for a private health club in Hong Kong, now hangs next to Henri Rousseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy (1897).


Tala Madani

Tala Madani, Chit Chat. (2007) Courtesy of the MoMA.

The provocative paintings and videos of Los Angeles-based Iranian artist Tala Madani offer a witty exploration of cultural and sexual identity. Her video installation Chit Chat (2007) has been put on display in the museum’s fifth floor galleries.

Parviz Tanavoli

Parviz Tanavoli, The Prophet. (1964) Courtesy of the MoMA.

Tanavoli is known for his heeches, three dimensional representations of the Persian word for 'nothing', heech. His work has been auctioned around the world leading to overall sales of over $6.7 million, making him the most expensive living Iranian artist. His 1964 sculpture The Prophet is on display.


Charles Hossein Zenderoudi

Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I) (1962). Courtesy of the MoMA.

Tehran-Born Zenderoudi was one of a group of artists dubbed Saqqakhaneh, who sought to develop a uniquely Iranian language of modernism in the 1960s. The dense ornamentation of his pen and ink work K+L+32+H+4. Mon père et moi (My Father and I) (1962) reflects motifs of vernacular Iranian prints and astrological talismans found in Tehran’s bazaars.


Siah Armajani

Siah Armajani, Elements Number 30 (1990). Courtesy of the MoMA.

Armajani is an Iranian-born American sculptor. His 2005 work Fallujah — a modern take on Picasso's Guernica — was censored in the US due to its critical view of the war in Iraq. His Elements Number 30, (1990) has been installed in MoMA’s lobby.

Marcos Grigorian

Marcos Grigorian, Untitled (1963). Courtesy of the MoMA.

Grigorian (1925-2007) took an influential step for Iran’s art scene in the late ‘50s by organizing the first Tehran Biennial in 1958. Untitled, a 1963 work from his "Earthworks" series, is on display at MoMA. In this series, Grigorian used natural materials including soil, sand, and mud to generate textured surfaces.


Shirana Shahbazi

Shirana Shahbazi, [Composition-40-2011] (2011). Courtesy of the MoMA.

Iranian-born artist Shirana Shahbazi creates brightly colored photographs are made in the crisp style of commercial studio photography, without the aid of digital tools. Her 2011 Composition 40 typifies the tension between abstraction and representation that exists in her photographs.

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