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  • Beyond Borders: An exhibition of contemporary posters from Iran


    From calligraphy, architecture and literature to painting and music, the land around and including present-day Iran is a creative cradle and jumping off point for today’s global artists. While politics in the country have changed in recent years, Iran’s graphic design community continues to connect their own cultural touchstones with contemporary issues and ideas to create compelling graphics. 

    It’s rare for American audiences to have access to the wealth of graphic design that is currently being created in Iran. It’s also rare for this audience to take the time learn more about Persian artistic traditions. These are just a few of the reasons why a small design team has convened to curate and present a collection of contemporary design from Iran. The result will be an exhibition titled “Beyond Borders,” a survey of Iranian poster design focusing on works completed within the last five years.

    The curatorial group includes AIGA Medalist Steven Heller, designer Mirko Ilić, design professor Nahid Tootoonchi, design professor Pouya Jahanshahi, independent curator and author Amos Klausner, independent designer Anne Jackson and design professor Andrew Twigg. When asked about the goals of the exhibition, Klausner noted, “Iran, like many countries in the region, is at a crossroads. There’s a relatively young population intersecting with a constant newness that is already resulting in some very interesting ideas and images. We want to highlight the convergence of digital design tools, new technology, ubiquitous social networks, limitless globalism and those age-old cultural traditions. It’s an exciting hybrid that is equal parts past, present and future.” The group plans to solicit work from a wide range of Iranian graphic designers and will ultimately select between 75 and 100 posters for the exhibition.

    AIGA has agreed to host the exhibition in New York City in 2014. However, as with many cultural programs, financial support will be key to the exhibition's success, and funding is actively being sought. If you are interested in supporting the project, please contact one of the show’s organizers: Amos Klausner (aklausner@yahoo.com), Anne Jackson (annej@acm.org) or Nahid Tootoonchi (NTootoonchi@towson.edu).

    As an event that shares Iranian design culture with an American audience, the organizers believe this will be one of the most important exhibitions of its kind to come to the United States in recent years. 

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