Bahar Behbahani


Born in Tehran, Iran, Bahar Behbahani is an Iranian artist who lives and works in New York. She received her diploma from the School of Plastic Arts in 1991, her B.A. in Painting in 1995 and her M.A. in Painting in 1998. Growing up in Iran, she learned early on that truth could be fabricated. Clearly differentiating public from private behavior and manipulating linguistic nuances were (and still are) essential to navigating everyday life under a contradictory, unpredictable regime. Now an artist living in the U.S., she revisits her birth country’s psychogeographic landscape in paintings and video projects. The confusion and denial of memories she associates with a past of violence and repression register at many levels in her work. her desire is to extract beauty from the chaos and uncertainty that continue to influence how she relates to the world.

Sydney Biennial, Sydney; Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates; Christie’s, London; United Nations, Geneva; Asian Art Biennial, Bangladesh, Miramar Museum, Zagreb; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington D.C.; Queens Museum, New York; and Tribeca Film Festival, New York, MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy, are among venues that have featured Behbahani’s painting, installation, photography and video art.

In 2007, her video art, “SUSPENDED”, was selected ‘Best in Show’ by Carrie Springer, Senior Curatorial Assistant at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and shown by the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. In 2008, “SUSPENDED” was an official selection of the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Guggenheim Museum Curator Suzanne Cotter selected the video Ride the Caspian, Behbahani’s recent collaboration with Kazakhstani artist Almagul Menlibayeva, for the 2011 Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates. The video was again selected for the 18th Sydney Biennial.

© Bahar Behbahani


Curators’ Special

Part of the curatorial selection of Berta Sichel