Shahpour Pouyan

Born in Iran, in 1979, Shahpour Pouyan has an MFA in Integrated Practices and New Forms at Pratt Institute, New York, and has an MFA in Painting from the Tehran University of Art. He previously studied Neoplatonic Philosophy at the Iranian Institute of Philosophy and received a diploma in Math and Physics from Elmieh School, Tehran. Between 2007 and 2009 he taught art history and the history of Persian Architecture at Science and Culture University, Tehran. He currently lives and works in London.

 Shahpour Pouyan’s work is a commentary on power, domination and possession through the force of culture. His artwork seeks to transform historical or political issues into a monument of poetic and visual form. The repetition of mistakes and errors is one of his main concerns, and he reflects this by bringing historical aesthetics and mediums to his contemporary art practice, for example, reinventing chainmail, helmets and Persian miniatures. His work does not announce a political agenda; instead, he grapples with materials provided from the political world and historic documents; the poetic qualities of power and the human condition inspire him. His recent works and projects are influenced by science, archeology, and the poetry of architectural forms that bridge past and present. He has participated in Lahore Biennial in Pakistan; National Art Museum of China in Beijing, British Museum in London, and Kochi-Muziris Biennale in Kochi Island. His work is part of many prominent private and public collections including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The British Museum, The Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art and the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art.



2018 “LB01,” Lahore Biennial, Lahore, Pakistan  

2017 “The Silk Road and World’s Civilizations,” Beijing Biennale, China  

2016 “For An Image, Faster Than Light,” Yinchuan Biennale, Yinchuan, China 

2014 “Whorled Explorations,” Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Kochi Island, India 

2013 Mykonos Biennale, Mykonos Island, Greece 


2020 Kenneth Armitage Foundation residency, London, UK

2020 International Studio and Curatorial Program (ISCP) residency, New York, USA

2016 Civitella Ranieri Foundation residency, Umbertide, Italy

2014 Residency program, Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, Manhattan, USA

2013 ArtCycle Prize, Finalist and Second Award, Gallery Brooklyn, USA

2011 Pegasus Art Foundation residency, State art Gallery, Hyderabad, India

2007 Recipient of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art’s grant of

Residence at International Cité Des Arts, Paris, France



2021 Methinks these be devils three, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Brussels, Belgium

2021 Sky-high is my place, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent, Belgium

2019 “After examining the logbook, the doctors assume they dealing with the plague.”, Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France

2019 “Monday Recollections of Muqarnas Dome,” Barbara Walters Gallery, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY

2018 “W?shu?,” Copperfield Gallery, London, U.K. 

2018 “The Incarnation of the Body Politic,” The Armory Show, New York City.  

2017 “My Place Is the Placeless,” Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E. 

2017 “We Owe This Considerable Land to the Horizon Line,” Nathalie Obadiah Gallery, Paris, France 

2015 “History Travels at Different Speeds”, Copper?eld Gallery, London, U.K. 

2014 “PTSD,” Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E. 

2011 “Full Metal Jacket,” Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E. 

2010 “The Hooves,” Sixty Six Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran 

2009 “XVA Gallery,” Bastakia, Dubai, U.A.E. 




2021 Contemporary Ceramic Art from the Middle East, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK

Hide & Hair, Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden, The Netherlands

2020 Prelude, Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Ghent, Belgium

Miniature 2.0, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey

2019 “Clapping with Stones: Art and Acts of Resistance”, e Rubin Museum, New York City

2019 “MATERIALIZE”, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery, Dubai, U.A.E.

2019 “La Nuit était papier” Galerie Nathalie Obadia, Paris, France

2019 “The Moon: A Voyage Through Time”, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto, Canada

2019 “Speaking Power to (Post) Truth,” Jane Lombard Gallery, New York City

2019 “Punk Orientalism,” MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, Canada. Curated by Sara Raza

2018 “White Anxieties,” WhiteBox, New York City. Curated by Raul Zamudio and Juan Puntes

2018 “Only the Morning Bird Treasures the Flower Garden,” REDCAT, Los Angles 

2018 “In the Fields of Empty Days,” Los Angeles County Museum  

2018 “The New Minimalists, “Abrons Art Center, New York City  

2017 “Jameel Prize,” A. Kasteyev State Museum of Arts, Almaty, Kazakhstan

2017 “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians,” Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas 

2017 “Iranian Voice,” British Museum, London, U.K.  

2017 “Rebel, Jester, Mystic, Poet: Contemporary Persians,” Aga Khan Museum,  Toronto, Canada   

2017 “Past Meets Present,” Anna Laudel Gallery, Istanbul, Turkey 

2016 “Home Land Security,” Fort Win?eld Scott, San Francisco  

2016 “Jameel Prize,” Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey 

2016 “Memory and Continuity”, Pera Museum, Istanbul, Turkey 

2016 “Recentering Modernism,” Art Basel, Hong Kong 

2016 “But Still Tomorrow Builds into My Face,” Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, U.A.E. 

2016 “Global/Local,” Grey Art Gallery New York University, New York City 

2015 “Jacob’s Ladder,” Untitled Art Fair, Miami Beach, Florida 

2014 “Young Collectors,” Elgiz Museum, Istanbul, Turkey 

2014 “The Tower of Babel Project,” Deuxpiece, Basel, Switzerland 

2013 “Traces”, Lawrie Shabibi, Dubai, U.A.E. 

2013 “For Which it Stands,”Lodge Gallery, New York City 

2013 “Chambres à Part VII: Dark to Light,” Tower of London, London, U.K. 

2013 “ArtCycle Discovers: MFA Finalists,” Gallery Brooklyn, New York City 

2013 “Nearly Neutral,” Barbara Walters Gallery, Bronxville, NY 

2012 “Dialoge: Shahpour Pouyan + Marwan Sahmarani, “Art Basel, Volta8, Basel, Switzerland  

2012 “Curate NEW YORK CITY. C Project,” Rush Arts Gallery, New York City 

2012 “Centrefold 8,” Zabludowicz Collection,” Art Projects, London, U.K. 

2012 “Domination, Hegemo,” New York City and The Panopticon, Traf?c, Dubai, U.A.E. 2011  

2012 “Artbeat,” Istanbul, Center Lutif Kirdar, Istanbul, Turkey 

2011 State Gallery of Fine Arts, Hyderabad, India 

2010 “Performance Box Curatorship,” Mohsen Art Gallery, Tehran, Iran 

2010 “The Emerging Iranian Scene,”Running Horse Contemporary Art Space,  Beirut, Lebanon 

2010 “Total Arts,” The Courtyard, Dubai, U.A.E 

2010 “Sous Le Radar,”JTM Gallery, Paris, France 

2009  “Urban Jealousy,” First International Roaming Biennial of Tehran and Magacin MKM, Belgrade, Serbia 

2008 Third International Digital Miniprinte Exhibition, Le Centre d?artistes Voix Visuelle, Ottawa, Canada



Abby Weed Grey Collection of Modern Asian and Middle Eastern Art, New York (UK)

British Museum, London (UK)

Cornell University – Herbert F. Jonhson Museum Of Art, Ithaca (USA)

The Farjam Collection, Dubai (UAE)

Houston Fine Arts Museum, Houston (USA)

Huma Kabakci Collection, Istanbul (Turkey)

Keramiekmuseum Princessehof, Leeuwarden (The Netherlands)

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles (USA)

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (USA)

Mohammed Afkhami Collection, Dubai (UAE)

Omer Koç, Istanbul (Turkey)

SYZYGY, New York (USA)

Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Tehran (Iran)

Victoria and Albert Museum, London (UK)

Zoroastrian Cultural Institute, Paris (France)